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Early Ride on the Zamboni – December 4th

Dec 4, 2010, 9:00 PM EDT

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With two earlier than usual games to begin a day brimming with hockey, we thought it would be wise to provide some summaries of those contests. If there is a common theme of the duo, it’s that the status quo was upheld (at least regarding which teams were favorites).

Philadelphia 5, New Jersey 3

The Flyers came into this game as a frustrated team, having lost three in a row with two of those defeats coming via shootouts. Then again, if the Flyers were frustrated, the Devils are practically broken.

Philly’s two most important centers shined the brightest in this game, with Mike Richards scoring a goal and an assist while Jeff Carter earned two assists and an empty-netter.

This win moves the Flyers into a virtual tie with the Penguins for the Atlantic Division lead (Pittsburgh is technically ranked higher with more wins but they both have 36 standings points) while yet another loss leaves the Devils facing the very real possibility of the Islanders passing them by for the bottom spot in the East.

Montreal 3, San Jose 1

Apparently the Canadiens celebrated their 101st birthday (they’re just not that special after the first 100, I guess), so it makes sense that they followed the similar pattern of their first 100 years of existence by winning.

The Habs brass continues to look bright by sticking with their next big thing, as Carey Price stopped all but one of the Sharks’ 27 shots to win his 16th game of the season (four times as many victories as his beleaguered opponent in the San Jose net, Antti Niemi).

Mathieu Darche, Tomas Plekanec and Michael Cammalleri scored goals for Montreal despite the fact they only sent 19 shots Niemi’s way, as the Canadiens have produced an impressive nine-game run (7-1-1) at the Bell Centre lately.

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