Newsmakers in the NHL: Dustin Byfuglien Leads Chicago to 9th Straight Win

It's great to see quality NHL action return to Chicago after years of disappointing hockey, and man, what a team the windy city has. With their 4-1 win in Minnesota on Sunday, the Blackhawks picked up their ninth straight victory, improving their record to 20-6-7, good enough for the fifth best record in the league.

Chicago received a four-point performance from Dustin Byfuglien, who scored a pair of goals in the first period and also added a pair of assists later in the game, as the Blackhawks dominated Minnesota. Cristobal Huet faced only 19 shots, turning away 18 of them to pick up his fifth consecutive win in goal. During his personal winning streak, Huet has allowed only four goals, posting a .967 save percentage.

Cal Clutterbuck scored Minnesota's only goal, while Martin Havlat and Kris Versteeg added tallies for the Blackhawks.

While Chicago has been reeling off win after win, the Wild have been going the opposite direction winning just two of their past 10 games.

The Rest of the Action

... Don't look now, but Alex Ovechkin is just one goal behind Jeff Carter for the league lead, thanks to his two-goal performance in the Capitals 4-1 win over Toronto. Ovechkin has scored 11 goals in his past nine games, giving him 25 on the season. Brooks Laich also scored a pair of goals for the Caps, while Niklas Hagman tallied the lone goal for the Maple Leafs.

... Boston's Michael Ryder broke a 1-1 tie late in the third period, as the Bruins picked up a 2-1 win over Atlanta on Sunday. With the win, Boston ties San Jose for the top point total in the NHL, while Phil Kessel picked up his 22nd goal of the season. Bryan Little scored his 18th goal for Atlanta.

... Anaheim snapped a three-game losing streak with its 4-3 win over St. Louis, thanks to Bobby Ryan's game-winning goal late in the third period. The Ducks also received goals from the Niedermayer's, Rob and Scott, while Steve Montador scored his second of the season midway through the third, tying the game, which set the stage for Ryan's game-winner. David Perron, Keith Tkachuk and Brad Boyes scored for St. Louis.

... Edmonton scored three goals in three minutes during the second period on Sunday, on its way to a 5-2 win over visiting Nashville. Erik Cole, Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner scored during the second period flurry for the Oilers, resulting in an early shower for Predators goalie Dan Ellis. Sheldon Souray and Shawn Horcoff also scored for Edmonton, while Martin Erat and Shea Weber scored for Nashville.

... Vancouver's Curtis Sanford picked up his first shutout since the 2005-06 season, turning aside 18 Ottawa shots in a 3-0 win. Pavol Demitra, Henrik Sedin and Alexander Edler provided the offense for Vancouver, as the Canucks dominated the Senators, sending them to their seventh loss in their past nine games..

Newsmakers in the NHL: Dustin Byfuglien Leads Chicago to 9th Straight Win originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Mon, 29 Dec 2008 01:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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