On Friday's 1500 ESPN morning show, Jeff Dubay talked at length about former Gopher Thomas Vanek's goal-scoring ability -- specifically his talent at tipping pucks in front of the net.
Last night, Vanek showed off that ability -- netting the eventual game winner 1:18 into the third period with a power-play goal as the New York Islanders topped the New York Rangers 5-3. The goal was Vanek's 11th of the season (23rd point) while fellow Gophers alum Kyle Okposo picked up the primary assist on the score (Okposo has 11-20--31 this season as well).
Speaking of tip-in, game-winning power-play goals, Blake Wheeler picked up one for Winnipeg in a 5-2 victory over Nick Bjugstad and the Florida Panthers. The former Gopher captain now has 12 goals and 26 points this season as the Jets ended Florida's five-game winning streak. Wheeler now has five goals in his last five games.
Bjugstad added a goal for the Panthers -- his seventh goal of the season and 14th point -- after picking off an errant pass in the Jets' defensive zone.