January 02, 2010
Originally, this was going to go to "The End Boards," but we have an unwritten rule about honoring inanimate objects here. Plus, Roy's hustle is what helped lead to the bizarre game-winning goal for the Sabres against the Atlanta Thrashers, in their 4-3 OT victory: Skating the puck through the neutral zone and then going to the net for the goal as the puck caromed off the boards for hockey's answer to the unguarded layup.
The Bruins' elder statesman led all Boston forwards with 20:42 in ice time during the Winter Classic at Fenway Park. More importantly, he scored the game's most critical goal on the power play at 17:42 of the third period; turning a sometimes tedious game into a memorable event that ended on Marco Sturm's(notes) goal in overtime. Boston becomes the first home team to win a Winter Classic, 2-1 over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Credit where it's due: Hartnell is paid to be an aggressor on the ice, and his contact with Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas(notes) set him off and led to Danny Syvret's(notes) goal for the Flyers -- which Hartnell earned an assist on as well.
Honorable mention: Thomas and Michael Leighton(notes) both made 24 saves in the Classic. ... Chris Pronger(notes) led all skaters with 26:27 TOI. ... Johan Hecht had two goals and an assist for the Sabres. ... Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) scored his 24th for the Thrashers. ... Ryan Miller(notes) made 32 saves for the Sabres. ... Congrats to the new U.S. Olympians.
Did you know?: Buffalo is 9-9-1 when allowing the first goal. (AP)
Dishonorable mention: As mentioned earlier, the 2010 Winter Classic wasn't exactly a scintillating affair until the Bruins' late rally, despite Fenway being a rather perfect venue for the game. ... Atlanta is on a 0-5-2 slide. ... Philly's two late penalties by Kimmo Timonen(notes) and Daniel Briere helped hand the Classic to the Bruins.