NFHL Game of the Night

 

Penguins Officially Punch Post Season Ticket

 

Last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched at least a tie for 8th in the Wales Conference.  Tonight, they made it official, clinching their playoff spot after downing the New York Islanders 6-5.  Jaromir Jagr, Nick Kypreos and Jryki Lumme each had a goal and assist and Tony Amonte had 3 helpers for Pittsburgh.  Sergei Zubov, Sylvain Turgoen and Esa Keskinen scored the other goals. Craig Conroy and Alexei Yashin had a goal and assist for the Islanders. Darcy Loewen, Sean Hill and Darryl Shannon scored the remaining goals. With the win, the Penguins leap all the way into 6th place in the conference, but do give up a game in hand to the Quebec Nordiques, who are one point back.  The Toronto Maple Leafs, whose season has ended, now sit 8th.

NFHL HQ was busy handing out awards tonight, the final set of the year.  First up was the monthly awards.  The winner of the $250,000 Skater of the Month was Florida's Mark Messier for the second consecutive month.  In 19 games, Messier had 10 goals and 20 assists for 30 point.  In those 19 games, he was +17 with 57 shots and 48 hits to claim the prize for his team.  He edged out a pair of Canucks in Michel Goulet and Adam oates, as well as New Jersey's Laurie Boschman and Winnipeg's Joe Nieuwendyk.  Florida swept the monthly awards with Patrick Roy taking home the Goalie of the Month honour.  Roy appeared in 15 games, going 9-2-2 with a single shut out and a .904 save percentage.  In total he stopped 338 out of 374 shots he faced.  He beat out Quebec's Dominik Hasek, Vancouver's Ed Belfour and Chicago's Rick Tabaracci.

Florida was one of the hottest teams down the stretch, so it is no wonder they also make appearances in the weekly awards.  Dale Hawerchuk was the final Skater of the Week in the NFHL.  In 5 games, Hawerchuk had 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points, with an unreal 27 shots and 20 hits in those games.  He was also +10 in 5 games to win another $100,000 for the Panthers.  Florida did allow another team to sneak in for the Goalie of the Week prize.  Hartford's Don Beaupre took home that prize after a perfect 3-0 week with one shut out and a .943 save percentage.  He stopped 83 of 88 shots in those 3 games to pull the Whalers into top spot in the Wales Conference.  Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin, Roy and Detroit's John Vanbiesbrouck were all considered for the prize.

Three Stars of the Night

Sergei Fedorov (MON) - 2 Goals (36), 2 Assists, +2, 6 Shots, 2 Hits
Joe Nieuwendyk (WIN) - 5 Assists, +5, 3 Shots, 4 Hits
Mike Modano (PHI) - 1 Goal (21), 3 Assists, +3, 2 Shots, 1 Hit