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Riding the Zamboni – Sunday, January 9th

Jan 9, 2011, 11:13 PM EDT

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For recaps of the Tampa Bay-New Jersey, Carolina-Atlanta and Dallas-Minnesota games, click here.

Here are summaries of the two later games.

Chicago 5, NY Islanders 0

It might be hard for less experienced hockey fans to believe this, but it wasn’t long ago when the Blackhawks weren’t much better off than the Islanders are now. Want evidence? They beat the Isles for the first time since 2002 tonight. Even if the two teams only play occasionally, that’s still pretty stunning.

Corey Crawford earned a 29-save shutout as Chicago blew out the Islanders in the second period, building a 1-0 lead into a 5-0 margin. Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Dave Bolland and Niklas Hjalmarsson scored goals for the Blackhawks.

This leaves the Blackhawks in sixth place with 49 points, but like the two teams ahead of them in the West (Anaheim and Nashville), their spot isn’t very safe because they’ve played a few more games than the teams beneath them. But hey, for at least tonight, they’re looking good.

Anaheim 1, San Jose 0

The Sharks are struggling to score (now five goals in five games), so running into red-hot Jonas Hiller and the Ducks wasn’t exactly the elixir. Hiller is now on a two-game shutout streak, stopping 37 shots tonight and 27 in a 6-0 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. San Jose out-shot Anaheim in every period, but it didn’t matter because Hiller was on his game.

Bobby Ryan scored the game’s only goal with assists by Toni Lydman and Lubomir Visnovsky. Antti Niemi was pretty good in the game himself, making 27 out of 28 saves.

The Ducks are currently in fifth place in the West while the Sharks find themselves out of the playoff picture. San Jose is tied with the Kings, Blues and Wild for eighth place with 47 points, but the team is the worst situation because they played the most games.

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