30/01/2013: NHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE NIGHT
Here are the results from last night’s games:
- MONTREAL 1 – 5 OTTAWA
- CHICAGO 2 – 3 MINNESOTA (SO)
- EDMONTON 2 – 1 PHOENIX (OT)
- COLORADO 0 – 3 VANCOUVER
Apologies for the lack of Top Performers recently, work commitments and technical difficulties (my keyboard wouldn’t work!) got in the way. However, I’m back in the game now and good to go, so let’s take a look at last night’s best players.
CRAIG ANDERSON – the Senators’ starting goalie made 31 saves on 32 shots and was instrumental in allowing Ottawa’s offensive talent to not worry about the defensive end too much by simply being an absolute rock, making some great saves in the process.
MIKA ZIBANEJAD – Ottawa’s talented rookie forward, a high draft pick from 2011, scored his first NHL goal last night on a low, hard point shot that went through Peter Budaj’s five-hole to make the game 3-1.
DEVAN DUBNYK – the huge Oiler goalie is really coming into his own this season, and whilst it’s still early – and apart from a horrid first period against San Jose last week – he is beginning to look like a true NHL number 1 goalie. Dubnyk made 27 saves and allowed just 1 goal for a .964 SV%, allowing the Oilers to win 2-1 in overtime against a surprisingly high scoring Phoenix team.
OLIVER EKMAN-LARSSON – the Coyotes’ young workhorse defender played over 24 minutes, laid out 3 hits and played big minutes in all situations last night, and although he didn’t find his way onto the scoresheet, if he continues to play the way he is then Coyotes fans are in for a treat.
ROBERTO LUONGO – despite being in the odd situation of knowing he’s likely going to be traded sooner rather than later, Luongo continued his strong play with a 24-save shutout of the Avalanche last night. Whilst Colorado are struggling with injuries, most notably to captain Gabriel Landeskog, no team is a pushover these days and Luongo proved he is still capable of playing at the highest level.
NIKLAS BACKSTROM – entered the net in relief of backup Josh Harding after he surrendered 2 early goals to Chicago on just 4 shots, and proceeded to shut the door, making 28 saves on 28 shots – though he obviously doesn’t earn the shutout – and only allowing 1 goal in the shootout to earn the win for Minnesota.