Dusk til Dawn: Blues outgun Blackhawks in Old West shootout

While elsewhere in the sporting world some guy was breaking his own leg by kicking another man’s leg, NHLers were buzzing around the rink having good, clean hockey fun. Here’s what you missed last night in the world’s greatest league.

Essential Water Cooler

The Blackhawks and Blues entered Saturday night’s contest as the two best offensive teams in the NHL, and they showed everyone exactly why. Even without 24-goal scorer Alexander Steen taking part, the Blues matched firepower with the Hawks as the clubs scored five goals apiece. The tilt saw the Hawks surrender a couple of two-goal leads, allowing the Blues to tie with under three minutes to go. The game didn’t “settle in” like so many others because momentum changed hands all night. Now, let’s all cross our fingers and hope these teams meet in the playoffs.

Primetime Play

With under five to go in a deadlocked third period, Bobby Ryan stripped Torey Krug of the puck, charged up ice, kicked the puck up to his stick after nearly overskating it, and finished off the play with the game-winner, backhand shelf on Chad Johnson.

Men of the Night

Saku Koivu, Anaheim: No. 11 opened the scoring against the Coyotes with a shorthanded goal and ended the game with a nifty tip in OT.

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Mike Fisher, Nashville: The Preds topped the Kings, who’ve been nearly unbeatable lately, with Fisher notching a point on all three goals.

Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia: The right winger scored consecutive power play goals in the second period to draw the Flyers even with the Oilers en route to their shootout victory. Simmonds has six goals in his past three games.

Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis: Tarasenko led the way offensively with a goal and two assists for the Blues, and added a shootout marker by way of “The Forsberg.” See the goal below.

Better Luck Next Time

Ilya Bryzgalov came oh-so-close to beating the Philadelphia Flyers last night in Edmonton. The Oilers jumped out to a 2-0 lead but couldn’t hold on as the Flyers forced overtime. The game was decided in a shootout, which hasn’t been kind to Bryzgalov over the years. He’s 23-29 with a .626 save percentage in the skills competition. Two of three Flyers scored to seal the victory. You’ll get ’em next time, Bryz.