Forward Update: McDonald, Kovalchuk, Steen, Zajac, Radulov, Whitney, Pavelski...
(4/1/12) Lots of goals always means lots of fantasy points to be handed out, so let's get straight to the Saturday recap. The Bruins manhandled the Islanders in a 6-3 win. Krejci (2G), Marchand and Seguin (1G, 2A each), Bergeron (1, 1), Kelly (1G) and Lucic (2A) combined for 13 points. Molson, Tavares and Parenteau had a combined 6 points of their own in the loss.
Jason Spezza had a goal in regulation and a goal in the shootout, while Alfredsson had 2 points in the Sens' win over the Flyers. Simmonds, Briere and Brayden Schenn clicked again; on Thursday the trio combined for 9 points in Philly's 7-1 dismantling of TOR.
Phil Kessel set a new career high by scoring his 37th goal of the year in the Leafs' 4-3 win over BUF. Ennis and Stafford remain red hot (2 points each), Clarke MacArthur had 2 points - his first points since March 13th. Joey Crabb also had 2 points; he's been rolling of late with 2 goals and 6 points in his last 5.
David Clarkson reached the 30 goal mark, and Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists to reach the 80 point plateau. Last year Kovalchuk managed only 60 points, but 2011-12 has been a nice bounce back for the superstar. Travis Zajac got his second point in 4 games since returning from his Achilles injury - he's playing on a line with Kovalchuk and Parise. Parise got his 31st, Sykora his 19th.
Ryan Malone scored twice more in the Lightning's 3-2 win over Winnipeg. Malone has 6 goals in his last 4 games and, despite injuries again this year, he's established a career high point/game average in 2011-12. (If only he could stay healthy...) Stamkos notched his 56th, Wellwood his 18th. Special note: Teddy Purcell is up to 41 assists and, along with his 20 goals and 61 points (with 5 games to go), he has set new career highs in all major offensive categories.
Another 2 goals for RJ Umberger (CLB). He now has 5 his his last 3 games. Vinny Prospal and enforcers Jared Boll and Derek Dorsett all scored for the Blue Jackets, while Backes notched his 24th in the loss - with Steen nabbing another point. Perron also scored for the Blues on a goal set up from Andy McDonald. It was McDonald's first game back from a shoulder injury.
Sharp, Patrick Kane, Bolland and Stalberg all scored in the Blackhawks' win over NSH. Erat and Radulov both tallied for the Preds, Legwand had 2 assists, while defensemen Weber (2G) and Suter (3A) continued to roll on the blue line.
Despite it being a key loss to Minnesota, Dustin Brown (1G, 2A) and Anze Kopitar (3A) both had terrific nights. The Kings still have the Pacific Division lead, while Dallas' loss suddenly has the Stars on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
Ray Whitney recorded his 1000th career point in the Coyotes' 4-0 win over the Ducks. Both he and Vrbata had a goal and an assist. Whitney has 1G and 6 points in his last 5. Vrbata has 3G and 1A in his last 2.
In VAN-city, 4th-liner Max Lapierre is currently enjoying his biggest offensive outburst of the season. With another goal against the Flames, he has 2G and 3A in his last 4 games. Andrew Ebbett returned to action and scored the GWG; it was his first game since Jan. 7th when he broke his collarbone in a game against Boston. Cammalleri and Olli Jokinen scored for CGY, while Henrik Sedin (2A) extended his NHL-leading assist total to 65. Daniel Sedin remains out with a concussion.
Finally in SJ, Joe Pavelski scored twice, has 4G in his last 4 games, and is now up to 31 goals on the year - by far and away a new career high for him. Joe Thornton had 2 assists (5 points in his last 5), and Havlat, Marleau and Clowe also recorded helpers. The Sharks are currently holding the 8th and final playoff spot in the West.