Feb 5, 2011, 6:09 PM EDT
A solid day for Antti Niemi as he stopped all 21 shots he saw en route to his third shutout of the season. Niemi has been great of late and it’s showing in the standings as the Sharks have caught up in a major way in the playoff race out West. For the Bruins, Tim Thomas stopped 16 of 17 shots he saw as Logan Couture‘s power play goal in the first was the only shot to elude him. Devin Setoguchi added an empty net goal with three seconds to play to provide the final tally.
For Couture it’s his 23rd goal of the year and helping him in making his case for the Calder Trophy. For the Sharks it’s their third straight win and seventh in eight games. Boston now sits just two points ahead of Montreal for the Northeast lead because…
Carey Price was stellar in stopping all 35 shots he faced and earned his fifth shutout of the season in stopping the Rangers. Scott Gomez‘s seventh goal of the year got Montreal out in front in the second period and it was all they’d need to stop New York this afternoon as the Rangers offense were unable to get anything past Price. Tomas Plekanec added an empty net goal to seal the deal for Montreal, his 18th goal of the year. With the win, Montreal moved to within two points of division-leading Boston closing the gap to make sure the Bruins don’t get too cozy. Martin Biron stopped 27 of 28 shots he saw in playing well for the Rangers despite yet another poor showing by the Rangers offense.
Curtis McElhinney made the most of a rare start for Anaheim as he stopped all 25 shots he saw. Corey Perry was the real story here as he had all three Ducks goals in earning the hat trick and giving him 28 goals on the season. Perry has emerged while captain Ryan Getzlaf has been out of the lineup and his outstanding season marches along in Anaheim. For McElhinney, the shutout is his second of the season. If he can play this strong when Hiller can’t go or needs a break, the talk of bringing Ray Emery in to be the new backup just might have to cool off for good.
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