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Albert played four
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ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- Corban Knight snapped out of his scoring slump in a big way Friday night, with some help from an old friend. Knight scored twice and assisted on another as the Abbotsford Heat blanked the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs 6-0 in American Hockey League action. After recording five points in the final three games of December, Knight had no goals and just two assists in nine games through the month of January. "Id definitely say I was a little snake-bit the last little while here, and things werent coming my way," said Knight. "It was nice to get a couple nice set-ups from the guys, and I was able to put them in. Hopefully Ill kind of put that behind me and move forward here." Knight was matched up with former linemate at the University of North Dakota Evan Trupp. Trupp responded with his first multi-point game since being called up from the ECHLs Alaska Aces. "We played two years together, and were really good friends, too," said Knight. "The fact we were put together, I think we were both pretty excited about it, and we were able to get some chemistry going tonight." Besides recording two second-period goals, Knight picked up the second assist on Markus Granlunds opening goal and was also in the crease for a Heat goal that was waved off in the first period. "Hes going through a learning curve like a lot of our guys," said Heat head coach Troy Ward. "Theyre kind of over that hump of, Im tired now. Some of our college guys that come out, thats really hard for them. Hes got a little bit more energy to his game, and Trupp made a difference." Blair Jones had two goals in his first game since being put on waivers by the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. With the addition of Jones and Shane OBrien, who was also sent down by the Flames, along with Heats signing of Trevor Gillies, the Abbotsford dressing room is beginning to get quite crowded. Derek Smith and Sven Baertschi are also recent Flames demotions. "Our team is at probably one of the most competitive points for ice time," said Ward. "Thats based on health and depth. It might get worse next week when the NHL shuts down and they assign players, creating more of a log jam. Its a healthy situation. It makes coaching decisions a little bit harder but thats part of our job." Josh Jooris also scored, while Max Reinhart had two assists as Abbotsford (27-14-4) got back in the win column after consecutive overtime losses last weekend. Joni Ortio stopped 34 shots for his second shutout of the season, and was a factor despite the lopsided win. "Hes one of the unsung heroes," said Ward. "He made some huge saves at critical times. We gave them a couple good looks and he was there and made it look pretty easy." Dustin Tokarski made 22 saves for Hamilton (20-19-4), which has won just once in its past five outings. After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Ortio woke up his club with a huge save midway through the second period. "Joni made some big saves in the second period when they had a couple cross-ice plays," said Jones. "Its kind of what Ive been seeing from him all season." Hamilton got a three-on-two rush while at the tail end of a penalty kill, but Ortio made a great save, sliding across to deny Martin St. Pierres one-timer at the side of the net. During a post-whistle scuffle the Heat came away with another power play and this time made it count. Max Reinhart fed Granlund and the Swede beat defender Darren Dietz at the blue-line and skated in on Tokarski, scoring blocker side for his team-high 18th of the season at 10:26. Then, just 1:27 second later the Heat built on their momentum. Brett Olson put a perfect backhanded saucer pass on the tape of Knight in the slot and the High River, Alta. native made no mistake, beating Tokarski glove side. Knight picked up his second with less than a minute to go in the period. Trupp came off the side boards and shovelled the puck to Knight in the high slot. This time he went top corner, blocker side for his 11th of the season. Jooris made it 4-0 with his fifth of the season at 7:20 of the third. He took a feed from Baertschi, cut to the front of the net and swept the puck around Tokarski. Jones completed the onslaught, scoring twice in less than two minutes. First he redirected Reinharts perfect feed at 9:52, then wired a one-timer between Tokarskis pads for his 10th of the season. Air Jordan 12 Retro Australia . Mark Van Guilder, Austin Watson and Colton Sissons also scored for the Admirals (22-13-10), who are 2-0-2 in their last four outings, while Roussel tacked on an assist for a two-point night. Greg Pateryn scored once for the Bulldogs (20-22-4), who lost their fifth straight contest, and also assisted on Gabriel Dumonts goal. Air Jordan 12 Australia . But last years runner-up Jarkko Nieminen crashed out despite winning the first set against Denis Istomin. Istomin fired 10 aces and won 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 to even his career record against Nieminen at 3-3. http://www.airjordan12australia.com/ . 5 Trade Deadline is drawing closer and teams will be deciding on whether to buy or sell while figuring out which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. Cheap Jordan 12 Wholesale .com) - Colorado forward P. Air Jordan 12 Australia Online . - After spending the morning in the hospital, Logan Couture gave the San Jose Sharks the spark they needed. The Red Wings are forced to look to the future, turnarounds for Malkin and Pacioretty as well as notes on Evander Kane, Phil Kessel, David Perron and more in Scott Cullens latest blog. 1. As the Detroit Red Wings took to the ice for Wednesdays 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, it was without both Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg for the first time since 2006, a great opportunity for some of the younger Wings forwards -- Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar, most notably -- to take on bigger offensive roles. The Wings started the year with a glut of forwards on their roster, even before they made the late decision to re-sign LW Dan Cleary, and it meant that Nyquist had to start the year in the AHL. Tatar remained in the NHL, because he required waivers to get sent down, but even so, Tatar played only five games in October. As extraneous Red Wings forwards like Patrick Eaves and Jordin Tootoo went by the wayside, there was more opportunity for Tatar and, even though he hasnt played big minutes, hes been productive. After scoring a pair of goals against Philadelphia, Tatar has 11 points in 21 games. Nyquist, who didnt need to clear waivers to get sent down, went to the AHL, where he was already a point-per-game scorer for the past couple seasons, and tallied 22 points in 15 games, further proving that he was ready for NHL duty and, upon being recalled, he joined Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen on Detroits top line. Wednesday, Nyquist was with Franzen and Stephen Weiss and contributed an assist, giving him four goals and six points in seven games since he was recalled, thus prompting the question: Why wasnt he part of Detroits roster from Day One? 2. Early in the season, there was such concern about Penguins C Evgeni Malkin, who had 10 points in his first 13 games. Why wasnt Malkin scoring? Such are the lofty expectations when you are one of four players to have at least three 100-point seasons since 2000-2001. But then, the calendar turned to November and Malkin started piling up assists. The game got a little easier when James Neal, Malkins right winger, returned from an injury suffered prior to the second game of the season. Malkins slow start wasnt simply a reflection of poor play, it was also a function of his quality of linemates. With Neal out, Malkin and left winger Jussi Jokinen skated with the likes of Chuck Kobasew, Beau Bennett, Jason Megna and Matt DAgostini, none of whom can be confused for Neal as a finsher. In any event, Malkin is scoring like an elite player. With 25 points in 15 November games, Malkin was six points ahead of the next highest-scoring player (Chicagos Patrick Kane), and, with 19 points during his current nine-game point streak, Malkin has notched 37 points in 29 games, climbing to within one point of teammate Sidney Crosby for the scoring lead. All this production is despite Malkin registering a career-low 3.0 shots on goal per game with a career-low shooting percentage (8.0%). If, once he returns to the lineup from a lower-body injury, those numbers move towards career norms, Malkin may be in line for another 100-point season. 3. Canadiens LW Max Pacioretty also started the year slowly, with four points in his first 12 games, sandwiched around a two-and-a-half week absence due to a hamstring injury. With 48 goals in the previous two seasons, Pacioretty had established himself as a legitimate scoring threat, one that should have been able to get the Canadiens out of their collective scoring funk. And then he did. Pacioretty scored a hat trick at home against Minnesota on November 19, registering 10 shots on goal in the process, then added a pair a couple of games later against Pittasburgh. Two goals against Toronto Saturday night and another against New Jersey Tuesday night left Pacioretty with eight goals (and an assist) in his last eight games, playing primarily with David Desharnais -- shaken from his own disastrous start -- and Brendan Gallagher. If Pacioretty can keep generating shots like this, a career-high 4.2 per game, he could be in for a big season, even having missed eight games already. At the very least, it should make a team think twice, or three times, before trading him. 4. While were discussing shot-generating scoring wingers that find their way into trade talks, Jets LW Evander Kane has been in an out of that rumour mill for the last couple seasons. Even though Kane has generated a career-best 4.15 shots on goal per game, his shooting percentage is a career-low 6.5% (9.2% for his career) and his on-ice shooting percentage is also 6.5%, which is the lowest among forwards that skate in the Jets top nine. Generally, what should be taken from low percentages is that they should regress closer to Kanes career norms, so he ought to be considered a buy-low opportunity right now, both for fantasy owners and NHL teams that might be looking to pry him out of Winnipeg. Kane is currently out of the lineup with a lower-body injury, which isnt exactly enhancing his value, but doesnt appear to be a long-term issue. 5. Since scoring four points against the Edmonton Oilers October 29, Maple Leafs RW Phil Kessel has seven goals and one assist in 15 games. Kessel has recorded 63 shots on goal in that span (4.2 per game), which is even a little better than his season average of 4.0 shots per game, yet thats still just one assist in the last 15 games for a skilled winger playing more than 19 minutes per game. There have been reports about Kessel nursing a wrist injury and that very well may be part of the problem. If the suggestion is that hes having bad luck, thats probably part of it too, yet Kessel still has the highest on-ice shooting percentage of his career so, like his teammates, was due for some regression. 6. Not surprisingly, after starting the year on Washingtons fourth line, Capitals LW Martin Erat has requested a trade, which isnt the easiest thing to make happen, since he comes with a $4.5-million cap hit and has yet to score a goal in 25 games this season. Erat does have seven assists and has been a middle-of-the-pack possession player for the Capitals, but its been an undeniably poor experience in Washington, precipitous fall for a player who scored between 49 and 58 points eery year from 2003-2004 through 2011-2012. That track record is what gives Erat some appeal to a team that hopes he might be able to help out on their second line.dddddddddddd 7. While were bandying about names that have made their way into the trade rumour mill, Maple Leafs D Jake Gardiner of course found his way into those rumours when he was recently a healthy scratch. This usage doesnt come as a surprise, at least not after last seasons extended stay in the AHL and then stint in the press box before suddenly playing top four minutes in the first-round playoff series against Boston. If the Maple Leafs were to move Gardiner, they had better get a pretty sweet return for the player who posts some of the best possesion stats on a team that posts horrendous possession stats. 8. Oilers LW David Perron has been taking his game to a new level with his new team. Sure, he has nine goals and 13 points in the last 12 games, thats good stuff, but hes also been a strong puck-possesion performer, at least in relative terms, and is averaging 3.64 shots on goal per game, way up from 1.75 last year with the St. Louis Blues (and his 1.95 per game over the course of his career). Hes played alongside a variety of linemates, with Boyd Gordon and Ryan Smyth his most common linemates, and its Perron that is driving play when hes on the ice, giving the Oilers even more than they could have reasonably expected when they traded for him. 9. Not getting carried away with modest production from a mucker who has five goals and seven points in 21 games, but Stars LW Ryan Garbutt is suddenly generating shots like hes more than a bottom-of-the-depth chart grinder. Over the last eight games, playing primarily with Vernon Fiddler and Antoine Roussel, Garbutt has four goals and two assists, with 32 shots on goal. Small sample, and all of that, but 4.0 shots on goal per game is notable, so it will be worth keeping an eye on Garbutt to see if the guy who climbed up from Brown University, through the Central Hockey League, ECHL and AHL before reaching the Stars, has a chance to contribute offensively for more than just a couple of weeks. 10. Capitals RW Eric Fehr has found a spot on the second line with Mikhail Grabovski and Troy Brouwer and, while his playing time has been inconsistent this year, Fehr has the best possession stats among Washington forwards and has six points (2 G, 4 A) in his last seven games. 11. Islanders LW Michael Grabner has gone 18 games without a point, even while playing mostly with Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey on the second line. He has two goals in 25 games, scoring on an absurd 3.8% of his shots, but the lack of production isnt all bad luck -- hes generating a career-low 2.12 shots on goal per game. 12. Hurricanes LW Jeff Skinner had a three-point game at Washington Tuesday, a bit of a breakout performance while skating with Tuomo Ruutu and Eric Staal on Carolinas top line. Prior to that game, Skinner had two points and 11 shots on goal in the previous six games since coming off the injured list. Considering how much Eric Staals line has struggled this year, its probably worth checking out to see if Skinner can fit in that role. 13. Blue Jackets G Sergei Bobrovsky is out for more than a month with a groin strain, leaving Curtis McElhinney to man the crease. McElhinney has been great this season, with a .925 save percentage in eight appearances, and he was good in the AHL last season (.923 SV% in 49 GP with Springfield), but he has never played more than 28 games in an NHL season and has a save percentage of .902 in 77 career games, numbers that will not stack up well if McElhinney is making the next dozen or more starts for Columbus. FIRST NHL GAMES Alex Grant, D, Anaheim - The 24-year-old was acquired from Pittsburgh in the summer for Harrison Zolnierczyk and has 74 points ni 144 career AHL games. He scored a goal in his NHL debut, at San Jose on November 30. John Albert, C, Winnipeg - A sixth-round pick for Atlanta in 2007, Albert played four years at Ohio State, scoring 103 points in 118 games over his last three seasons, and has 40 points in 111 AHL games since. He played a modest 8:29 in his first NHL game with Anthony Peluso and James Wright on the fourth line, but scored on a breakaway. Erik Haula, LW, Minnesota - Drafted in the seventh round in 2009, Haula had 100 points in 80 games during his last two seasons at the University of Minnesota. He has a dozen points in 24 AHL games since and has been fitting in a depth role for the Wild over the last three games. Kevan Miller, D, Boston - Undrafted stay-at-home defenceman who played at the University of Vermont was an injury fill-in for three games and held his own, enough that hell be on call when injuries hit the defence again. Zach Sill, LW, Pittsburgh - A late bloomer who was undrafted and only played in the QMJHL as a 19-and-20-year-old, Sill isnt a big scorer, with 72 points in 273 AHL games, but that kind of experience makes him useful in limited fourth-line minutes. Connor Murphy, D, Phoenix - The 6-foot-5 blueliner was a first-round pick in 2011, Mruphy has ascended quickly, limited to 68 games over two OHL seasons due to injury, then getting the call after a dozen games in the American Hockey League. He scored in his NHL debut, playing more than 22 minutes, but has been working on the third pair since. Nikita Kucherov, RW, Tampa Bay - Taken in the second round in 2011, Kucherov scored 63 points in 33 QMJHL games last season, then opened his first pro campaign with 13 goals and 24 points in 17 games. Hes a skilled forward and, upon being called up, was put on a line with Teddy Purcell and Alex Killorn. Kucherov hasnt scored since lighting the lamp in his debut but, with 11 shots on goal in four games, hes generating opportunities. Reid Boucher, LW, New Jersey - Picked in the fourth round in 2011, Boucher has a heavy shot and scord 62 goals in 68 games for Sarnia of the OHL last season, then got off to a quick start in the AHL this year, with 10 goals and 18 points in 21 games. Making his debut against Montreal Wednesday, Boucher had an assist and scored in the shootout. With injuries in New Jersey, there is an opportunity for Boucher to earn regular time in a scoring role. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. 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