Forward Update: Crosby, Kennedy, Kessel, Havlat...
(3/18/12) With a full compliment of action on Saturday, moves were made in hockey pools around North America. Here is a review of the action.
In Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby recorded 3A and now has 5 points in the two games since his return (he has been given a second assist in the game on Thursday). Malkin had 2 points, and Matt Cooke (2G) and Tyler Kennedy (2A) both contributed, getting to play on a line with Crosby. As we continue to highlight: Crosby gives the entire lineup a boost, Kennedy in particular has done very little this year, but suddenly playing alongside Sid the Kid, he could have a nice stretch run. Kennedy has 4 points in the 2 games since Crosby's return.
Martin Havlat is having an immediate impact since his return to the SJ lineup. He scored twice in the Sharks' 3-2 OT win over the Wings - Havlat had the OT GWG. Pavelski, Thornton, Marleau, Couture, Datsyuk and Filppula all had a point each. Although the Sharks currently sit out of the playoffs, with 3 games in hand on Colorado, the last spot is their's to lose.
In Boston, everyone except Briere got a goal in the shootout, meaning that if you track the extra goal, Seguin (2 points), Bergeron (2), and Matt Read (3) all had nice showings in a relatively low scoring affair. Chris Kelly scored for the first time in a while playing on a decent third line with Pouliot and Rolston - Kelly has cooled considerably since his hot start, but he will be a postseason factor. Pouliot has now been back from injury for the past 2 games.
Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist in the Leafs' 3-1 win in Ottawa. Despite the Maple Leafs' downward trend, Kessel continues to plod along. He has 75 points on the year with 10 games to go, and currently sits 4th in NHL scoring.
Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly got back on the score sheet Saturday, albeit with 1A each. Duchene has missed multiple stretches since the middle of the season, this was only his third point since Dec. 26th - injury bust! O'Reilly has simply gone cold; he has just 3 points in March so far. Jamie McGinn had an assist to keep his current up-tick going.
In Florida, Kris Versteeg returned from injury - his first game since Feb. 27th - but didn't score, while Samuelsson, Fleischmann and Weiss combined for a PPG. With Versteeg back in the lineup, the Panthers have a much better shot at nailing down their first playoff birth since 2000.
In Vancouver, Daniel Sedin busted the slump with 2G and 1A. David Booth and Vinny Prospal also scored, and Henrik Sedin had 2A.
Dustin Penner had a rare 2 point night in LA's 4-2 win over NSH. Penner has just 6 goals on the year and qualifies as one of the biggest busts of the season. Kopitar got his 23rd, Fisher his 22nd, while Martin Erat had a 2 point night.