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Big contributions from small players and three shutouts on a night of lopsided scores
Big contributions from small players and three shutouts on a night of lopsided scores; injury news, Fantasy tips and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking. Columbus Blue Jackets Jerseys . HEROES Sami Vatanen – The Ducks blueliner had a goal and two assists in a 4-3 overtime loss at Calgary, giving him 16 points in 20 games this season. Only Mark Giordano (21) and Brent Burns (18) have more points among defencemen this season and Vatanen’s 12 power-play points leads all blueliners. While Vatanen is a veritable beast with the man advantage, he hasnt been ideal in possession terms, with a 48.3% Corsi to this point in the year, down from 53.6% last season. Brian Gionta – After going without a goal in his first 19 games with his new team, the Sabres’ captain scored two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win over San Jose. Gionta’s points per game (0.30) and shots per game (1.70) are at career-low rates, mired in the muck of the situation in which the Sabres find themselves this season. Shutouts – Tuukka Rask – Stopped all 33 St. Louis shots he faced in Boston’s 2-0 shutout win. Rask is coming around, after a slow start, posting a .935 save percentage in seven November games, after an .899 save percentage in October. Jimmy Howard – Had a 28-save shutout in Detroit’s 5-0 win at Columbus, his best start of the season, following his worst (four goals on 19 shots against Montreal Sunday). Marc-Andre Fleury – Recorded a 27-save shutout in Pittsburgh’s 4-0 win at Montreal. It was Fleury’s league-leading fourth shutout and he has a .930 save percentage, which is a career-high. ZEROES Goalies – Jonathan Bernier & James Reimer – They weren’t the only Maple Leafs to blame – there was plenty of company in that dressing room (Roman Polak and Peter Holland were both minus-4, for example) -- but a combined nine goals on 37 shots is a .757 save percentage. Troy Grosenick – After stopping 45 shots in his NHL debut, Grosenick followed up by allowing three goals on 13 shots in San Jose’s 4-1 loss at Buffalo. Grosenick had a .905 save percentage in 45 AHL games before getting called up, so it’s not reasonable to expect him to be a difference-maker in the NHL. Kari Lehtonen – The Stars’ goaltender surrendered four goals on 16 shots before getting pulled against Carolina. Devils’ fourth line – The line of Steve Bernier, Dainius Zubrus and Stephen Gionta was stuck in the defensive zone at Winnipeg, none more than Bernier, who had no shot attempts for and 10 against at even strength. Flames burned – Left winger Sven Baertschi has had an up-and-down ride since getting called up and was down Tuesday against Anaheim, on for zero shot attempts for and nine against, while rookie centre Josh Jooris did manage to get on for one shot attempt for at even strength, with 21 against ( LINEUP NEED TO KNOW David Krejci – Boston’s centre returned to action Tuesday, after missing nearly two weeks with a lower-body injury. He returned to a spot between Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith. Brad Marchand – Boston’s agitating winger missed Tuesday’s game against St. Louis with an undisclosed injury. Matt Fraser took his spot on the wing with Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith. Ryan Johansen – Columbus’ leading scorer was benched in the third period after an ill-advised roughing penalty – it took Detroit eight seconds on the PP to take a 2-0 game to 3-0 – and Johansen was held without a shot attempt in 15:41 of ice time. Olli Maatta – Two weeks after having surgery to remove a cancerous tumour, the Penguins’ second-year blueliner played 20:14 at Montreal. No big deal, apparently. Adam Henrique – Returning to the New Jersey lineup for the first time in a couple of weeks, Henrique centered a line with Tuomo Ruutu and Damien Brunner in the Devils’ 3-1 loss at Winnipeg. Rocco Grimaldi – With Aleksander Barkov ill, the Panthers’ prospect played in the AHL in the morning – held off the scoresheet in a 4-3 San Antonio win over Oklahoma City – then was called up to join the Panthers in L.A. for the night game, centering a line with Scottie Upshall and Tomas Kopecky. Martin Hanzal – Sat out Arizona’s 2-1 overtime loss to Washington with a lower-body injury and Kyle Chipchura moved in to his spot, playing centre on a line with Martin Erat and Tobias Rieder. Kris Russell – The Flames defenceman is out with a lower-body injury, which resulted in Ladislav Smid taking on a bigger role, playing a season-high 21:13 against Anaheim. David Jones – The Flames winger is out with a lower-body injury. He played a season-low 9:45 Saturday against Ottawa and was replaced in the lineup – and on a line with Curtis Glencross and Sean Monahan – by Devin Setoguchi Tuesday. Adam McQuaid – The Bruins defenceman, who had been playing a bigger role with so many injuries on the Boston blueline, left early in the win over St. Louis after blocking a shot from Kevin Shattenkirk. If McQuaid is out, the Bruins have to hope that Kevan Miller will be ready to return soon or may need to dip into the AHL, again, just to have six healthy defencemen. Michal Neuvirth – Buffalo’s started left with a lower-body injury after stopping all 10 shots he faced in the first period against San Jose. He was replaced by Jhonas Enroth and goalie coach Arturs Irbe was the Sabres’ emergency backup goaltender. Cedric Paquette – Tampa Bay’s rookie checking centre left Tuesday’s loss to the Islanders with a lower-body injury, playing only 2:40. Going into the game, Paquette had scored five goals in the previous six games and played a career-high 16:25 the game before. Tyson Strachan – The journeyman defenceman is getting lots of work in Buffalo with Josh Gorges sidelined. Strachan played 24:24 against San Jose, (4 shot attempts for, 20 against, 16.7%), his most in an NHL game aside from three late-season games with Florida in March and April of 2013. SHORT SHIFTS Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar each had a goal and an assist, and combined for 15 shots on goal, for Detroit in a 5-0 win at Columbus…Predators RW Taylor Beck had two goals and an assist at Toronto, after an eight-game scoreless streak…Predators LW Filip Forsberg picked up a goal and an assist at Toronto, giving him 15 points (8 G, 7 A) in the past nine games…Devils LW Patrik Elias scored a goal at Winnipeg, ending a 17-game goalless streak…Jets LW Michael Frolik had a goal and an assist, and has four points (3 G, 1 A) in the past four games…Jets C Mathieu Perreault scored his first goal of the season, ending a 27-game regular-season drought going back to last season. Stars LW Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist vs. Carolina, ending an 11-game goalless streak…Stars C Tyler Seguin scored a pair of goals in a 6-4 loss to Carolina, giving him seven goals in the past six games…Flames D Dennis Wideman scored a pair of goals, giving him seven on the season, in a 4-3 overtime win against Anaheim…Flames C Markus Granlund had a pair of assists for the Flames, his second straight multi-point game. Granlund has eight points (3 G, 5 A) in nine games since getting called up from the AHL…Panthers RW Jimmy Hayes continued his recent run with a goal and an assist in a 5-2 loss at Los Angeles. Hayes has seven points (4 G, 3 A) in the past six games…Kings C Anze Kopitar had a couple of assists, and has seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the past five games, after three points in his first 11 games…Blues C David Backes didn’t register a shot attempt in 19:55 at Boston…Penguins RW Beau Bennett had a goal and two assists in a 4-0 win at Montreal, his first points (in his fourth game) of the season. FANTASY FOCUS Only a couple of games on the schedule tonight, so here are a couple of players you may want to get into your lineup: Brayden Schenn – With Claude Giroux out, the Flyers need support for RW Jakub Voracek and Schenn has seven points (3 G, 4 A) during a five-game point streak. Nick Bonino – Vancouver’s leading scorer in November, with six points in eight games, Bonino has 14 even-strength points this season, tied for 10th in the league with the likes of Henrik Zetterberg, Vladimir Tarasenko and Mark Giordano. Much of the data included comes from,, and Scott Cullen can be reached at David Clarkson Blue Jackets Jersey . -- Lara Gut of Switzerland regained the overall World Cup lead with Sundays super-G win in Lake Louise, Alta. David Savard Blue Jackets Jersey Authentic . With Washington teammate Nene drawing double-teams coming off his big game against the Lakers, Gortat scored 25 points on 11-of-12 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Wizards to a 100-92 win in overtime over Milwaukee on Wednesday night. . Leave it to Matt Niskanen, the newly proclaimed Eddie Haskell of the Washington Capitals.An experienced group of Hollywood screenwriters couldnt have scripted the high drama that unfolded on the ice in Winnipeg last Tuesday night. On an evening when the hometown Jets were playing a single home game in between road trips, the local squad turned in their most lopsided and convincing victory of the season, scoring a season-high in goals en route to an 8-2 mauling of the upstart Florida Panthers. It started with a pair of goals by forward Mathieu Perrault and eventually turned into a career night for the 27-year-old when he tallied four on the evening. Perreault, a product of Drummondville, Quebec is one of three players to score four times in a single game this month alone. Initially, David Backes of the St. Louis Blues did it in Arizona prior to Perreaults special night and late last week, Kyle Okposo of the Islanders joined them with a career-night, four-goal effort against Pittsburgh. But as Perreault was assembling his memorable night – which included a delay in the contest following his third goal that started a rain of hats from the stands to the ice – he nearly brought the roof down when he was denied on a breakaway for a fifth goal in the game by former Jets netminder Al Montoya, who relieved starter Roberto Luongo just under seven minutes into the second period. It was one of those nights, said Perreault, who once before scored four times in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears. But one that was obviously a lot of fun. Playing more than just a cameo role in the theatre of hockey entertainment in the game was defenceman Dustin Byfuglien, who tallied three points and two goals in the onslaught. His efforts only helped to set-up the encore of the night at the final buzzer. For the Jets, the win was about two points and another step toward the post-season for the first time since the club landed in Winnipeg four years ago. But it also marked the 500th career NHL win for head coach Paul Maurice. He joined an elite fraternity in reaching that milestone and became the second youngest coach to 500 behind the legendary Scotty Bowman. Following the game, Maurice was humble but did share in thanking influential people in his career like Hartford/Carolina owner Peter Karmanos, the man that gave Maurice his first head coaching job in the NHL at the age of 28. He also thanked Jim Ruthherford, the GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who for many years held the same position with the Hurricanes organization while Maurice was its bench boss. Sergei Bobrovsky Blue Jackets Jersey Authentic. When the final buzzer sounded before another sellout crowd in the provincial capital, the emotions of the night continued past Tuesday. The Jets have now won four straight games since and Maurice was honoured with a standing ovation during Sundays victory over Arizona by yet another sellout crowd at the MTS Centre. I got a lot of nice calls and texts from people that have been a big part of your hockey life, said Maurice, who will turn 48 later this month. That kind of reconnection was great. Ive been very lucky and fortunate to work with some really good people. It was an evening that wont soon be forgotten by Winnipeg fans. In fact, it might have been worthy of at least an Oscar nomination or considered by the Academy. Simply put, the thespian skill displayed in all areas of what transpired last week are likely worthy of some sort of an award, or perhaps a sequel to consider. And with the way the club is playing for and under Maurice this season, it might not take very long to write. NOTES: Like them or not, the shootout is still part of an NHL game and that wont likely change for the foreseeable future, although the league is considering some alterations to the overtime period next season to reduce the frequency of shootouts in the game. Either way, both Buffalo and the New York Islanders might not want anything to change on that front as both are 6-1 in shootouts this season. Detroit might have a different perspective on the matter, however, with a 1-7 record... To date, there have been 21 penalty shots taken in the NHL this season, of which seven goals have been scored. The Jets have yet to be awarded a penalty shot this season nor assessed one against... Winnipeg has been shorthanded a league-leading 193 times this season, but find themselves in the Top 10 in penalty kill percentage... Winnipegs road record is a league-best 14-5-5... Both Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little are on pace for 30-goal and 60-point plus seasons. Little also has the best shooting percentage on the team, scoring nearly 20.7 per cent of the time he directs a shot at an opposition net. Meanwhile, Ladd has six power play and four game-winning goals - both team bests. 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