Monsters Can’t Take the Rampage, Blue Jackets Silence the Blues, Penguins vs. Red Wings preview

A day after winning 6-3 over the Toronto Marlies in front of Olympic Gold Medal winning goaltender Jim Craig, the Lake Erie Monsters couldn’t repeat the same magic from the night before and fell 5-3 to the San Antonio Rampage last night in Quicken Loans Arena.

The Monsters managed to get on the board first with a goal by TJ Hensick but the lead would not last long as Rampage winger Brett McLean tied it up on a powerplay goal later on in the period. The Rampage would tack on another score courtesy of center Kyle Turris to take a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.

Starting in the second period, the Rampage would go up 3-1 when Sean Sullivan put one past Monsters netminder Tyler Weiman to take the two goal lead. The Monsters would respond though as Tom Zanoski and Matthew Ford would tie it up at three goals a piece.

The Monsters couldn’t muster up enough gas in the third period though as goals by the Chad Kolarik and Stefan Meyer would give the Rampage a 5-3 lead and eventually the victory.

The Monsters have struggled with back-to-back contests this season and if they want a better shot at making the playoffs, they will have to learn how to win when playing multiple days in a row. The team has a tendency to come out firing one night and then play flat or inconsistently the next or vice versa. The Monsters have proven they are hungry to play better and want to win but will have to play better on back-to-back nights if they want to see the post-season.

Moving to the NHL, days after being humiliated in front of their home crowd, the Columbus Blue Jackets rebounded with a 3-2 victory over the Blues in St. Louis last night.

The Blue Jackets started off early on with a goal by Derek Dorsett at 4:09 of the first period but the Blues ended up responding by tying the game up when David Backes scored for the Blues with :02 left in the first period.

Late in the second period, Fedor Tyutin would give the Jackets a 2-1 lead by scoring on the powerplay.

The Blue Jackets could not keep the lead though as a goal by Andy McDonald on the powerplay would tie the game up and send it to overtime.

During this season, the Jackets have struggled in overtime, however, Kris Russell broke that trend as Russell found the back of the net just a minute and a half into the extra session to give the Blue Jackets the 3-2 victory.

On Thursday against the Kings, the Blue Jackets played flat and without any energy or determination but were able to reverse that in last night’s game against the Blues. The team came out firing, did not let the Blues take an early lead and responded whenever the Blues tied the game up. The Jackets knew that this game was an important divisional game and got the win they needed.

Later on today at 12:30 pm, the rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup Finals will occur as the Pittsburgh Penguins will battle the Detroit Red Wings in a regular season matchup. The Penguins have been streaky lately, however, the Red Wings have played inconsistently this season and are beginning to show their age.

If the Penguins come out firing and put multiple shots on goal early on, they could easily take an early lead and control this hockey game. They will want to play a quick and physical game and take the Red Wings spirits and veterans out of this game early on. An early goal and physical play will get the Pittsburgh crowd into it and be a key factor in this hockey game. With this being a rematch, the Penguins fans will be loud and proud and determined to see the Red Wings lose.

Despite playing inconsistently this season, the Red Wings can still be a dangerous hockey club and have proven to play with the league’s best. The Red Wings did beat the Blue Jackets by more then four goals earlier this season and have taken the Blackhawks to overtime and shootouts this season. The Red Wings may have lost a step or two from last year but are determined and can still play with the league’s best.

This showdown should be a classic with two teams determined to oust each other in this rematch.

~ by jeffrsabo on January 31, 2010.

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