The San Jose Sharks continued to distance themselves from the rest of the National Hockey League on Monday night, as they beat Nashville, 4-1, to improve to 16-3-1 on the season. The Sharks have earned at least a point in 11 of their previous 12 games, as they now have an 11 point lead over second-place Anaheim in the Pacific Division.
Brian Boucher started in goal for the sixth consecutive game in place of the injured Evgeni Nabokov, stopping 32 of 33 shots for the win. San Jose received goals from Devin Setoguchi, Jody Shelley, Patrick Marleau, and Thomas Plihal, while David Legwand added a shorthanded goal for Nashville midway through the third period.
Setoguchi has 22 points in the Sharks first 20 games, while he's also filled the net four times in his previous four contests. As a team, the Sharks have a league-high 73 goals, seven more than second-place Detroit. Meanwhile, Boucher continued his solid play in net, as he's now 6-1-1 on the season, including 4-1-1 since taking over for Nabokov.
Perhaps the most newsworthy item from the game, aside from the Sharks continuing to systematically dismantle whatever team lines up across from them, was the fact Nashville's Jason Arnott had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher when he was knocked into Boucher during the first period. According to the AP game report, Arnott was taken to a local hospital and is being held for precautionary reasons.Ty Conklin Shuts Out His Former Team
With Dustin Penner watching comfortably from the Joe Louis Arena press box, Detroit's Ty Conklin turned aside all 21 shots he faced on Monday, helping lead the Red Wings to a 4-0 win over Edmonton. Since starting the season 4-0-0, the Oilers have been on a 4-8-2 slide, while dropping five of their past seven games.
Detroit received goals from Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson, Jiri Hudler and Johan Franzen in the win.
When Franzen has been on the ice, he's been a dominating goal scorer for the Wings, picking up nine goals in just 12 games this season. Dating back to last season, the 28-year old forward has scored 24 goals in his previous 28 regular season games. If you include last season's playoffs, those numbers improve to 37 goals in 44 games. That's quite an impressive stretch. Oh, and it's worth pointing out that he's an unrestricted free agent following this season. Just saying.Boston Takes Battle of Original Six Teams
Vesa Toskala continued to struggle for Toronto as he surrendered three goals on just 22 shots, as the Leafs fell to Boston, 3-2.
Head coach Ron Wilson was being interviewed on Vs. during the broadcast shortly after Boston's first goal, and he sounded a little disappointed in his No. 1 goaltender saying, "That's a stoppable shot, we have to stop that." Frankly, he's not stopping much of anything this year, as Toskala remains near the bottom of the NHL in save percentage and goals against average.
The Bruins received goals from Phil Kessel and Michael Ryder, while defenseman Matt Hunwick, filling in for the injured Andrew Ference, picked up his first NHL goal during the first period.
Jason Blake picked up his third goal of the season for Toronto, while rookie Mikhail Grabovski continues to be a bright spot as he scored his ninth goal.
Tim Thomas stopped 28 of 30 shots for the Bruins.
Yesterday's Newsmakers in the NHL: Brian Boucher Helps Lead San Jose originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Tue, 18 Nov 2008 01:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.