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Still On Pace for 164

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\ John Erskine played a little more than eight minutes in the third period last night and 19:05 on the night. Coach Glen Hanlon complimented Erskine’s improved skating before the game, and both Hanlon and Olie Kolzig lauded the toughness element that he adds to the mix on the blue line.\

\ I cannot claim this as an original thought because people were talking about in the media room last night before the game, but it still holds up - after two games, John Erskine is outscoring Sidney Crosby. He also has scored more points after two games than Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Oli Jokinen among others.\

\ As long as Erskine continues to play like this, there really is not room for Jeff Schultz in the active lineup. It will be interesting to see how much longer he stays with the big club if he is not dressing, especially with Steve Eminger lurking on injured reserve.\

\ No sign of Alexander Semin on the ice today, and he only logged 2:59 of ice time in the third period. Matt Bradley is skating with the Swedes, but if Semin does not play tomorrow I would expect Brooks Laich back on that line like in Atlanta. He had a very nice game last night.\

\ Alex Ovechkin was out on the ice before everyone else trying out some new skates. After the game last night someone asked him about the missing tooth and he responded, “Girls like it. Look like tough guy.”\ — Corey Masisak

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