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Article:In the Crease: A weekly look at the NHL 12/31 to 1/6

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This was an exciting week in the NHL. The new year started with a bang and things got off on a good foot.

Ice Bowl

The Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins played in the Winter Classic. An outdoor hockey game that took place at Ralph Wilson Stadium at Orchid Park in Buffalo, New York. The football field was turned into a hockey rink the game began. With the snow falling heavily at times the Pittsburgh Penguins took the victory when Sidney Crosby scored in the final round of the shootout. It was a decent game and seemed to entertainer a lot of people, as the large stadium was at it’s capacity.

Steel wall in Vancouver

Roberto Luongo recorded his sixth shutout of the season this week, as his Canucks beat the New York Rangers 3-0. Luongo’s second season in Vancouver has been even better than his first and the Canucks have been great and almost unbeatable at home.

The First One is the Best

Jassen Cullimore of the Florida Panthers scored his first goal of the season this week when he propelled the Panthers to a 4-3 overtime win over the New York Islanders. It was Cullimore’s 22nd career goal. He was drafted in 1991, and made his debut in 1994. 7 of his goal’s have been game winners. However Florida has a problem, they can not hold onto a lead. The Panthers blew 3 leads in the Islander game and have been giving up their leads with great frequency. If that doe not improve the Panthers are going to find themselves out of it before they were even in it.

Bruins start the Climb

The Boston Bruins dug themselves a hole last week and into this week by dropping six straight games. They have now won two straight with wins over Atlanta on new years eve and a win over Washington on Thursday. They also beat the the New Jersey Devils for the first time all season.

Ryder Rides New Stick to Scoring Touch

Michael Ryder has struck fear into many teams over the past few years, due to his ability to score. After putting consecutive 30 goal seasons together he has had a rough year. After being scratched for a few games Ryder broke his stick. Maybe the best thing to happen to him all year. As he then went on to score three goals in three games, He now has six goals on the season and he may have turned his season around enough to help out the Montréal Canadians.

Pittsburgh Blitz

No the Steelers did not play any hockey this week. The Pittsburgh Penguins scored three goals in 48 seconds against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The goals were scored by Evgeni Malkin, Tyler Kennedy, and Petr Sykora. The Penguins won the game 6-2 and Evgeni Malkin scored his first career hat trick.

Sabres Sputter

The Buffalo Sabres ended 2007 on a sour note and began 2008 on a sour note aswell. The defending Northeast division champions have dropped their last five games. All of which have been close games but they just have not been able to finish games strong. The Sabres will try to right the ship when they head to Atlanta for a showdown against the Thrashers.

www.sammonroe.net


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