No. 1 Star: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators
Not a lot has been able to shut down Thomas Vanek and the Buffalo Sabres top line yet this season. Craig Anderson made several poolies happy tonight with a 42-save shutout for Ottawa at home in their 2-0 win, halting the Sens' losing streak at two before it became a full-blown slump. Anderson now has seven victories on the season—which is more than half the teams in the NHL—and while "victories" is a dubious stat for goaltenders, most of Ottawa's wins have been all him: he has a .956 save percentage on the season and he has recorded a 'quality start' in all but two of his appearances this season.
No. 2 Star: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
The "Great 8" had just a pair of points in the Capitals' 6-5 win in front of a generously-tallied 15,340 fans at the BankAtlantic Center. He did tie the game on this bullet of a wrist shot with about three minutes to go on a Washington powerplay. Not too much chance for Scott Clemmensen on that one. Despite Jonathan Huberdeau's two goals, the Panthers would lose in overtime.
No. 3 Star: Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Nobody told Victor Hedman that as a defenceman, he's supposed to stay closer to his own net. The former No. 2 overall pick to the Lightning scored the 3-1 and 3-2 goals late in the third period to bring the Lightning to within striking distance of the Canadiens. Both goals, he drove to the net, collecting a pass on Carey Price's stick side from Tom Pyatt, and four minutes later getting on on the glove side on a pass from Teddy Purcell. While Tampa would complete the comeback, they would lose 4-3 to the Habs in a shootout.
Honourable Mention: Tye McGinn came an assist away from the Gordie Howe hat-trick. This was the goal the youngster scored that eventually held up as the game-winner:
Broad Street Hockey has a good run-down of McGinn's scrap earlier in the game against Mark Stuart. I'm not particularly a fan of fighting, but if you like a bit of pugilism with your hockey, that's a pretty good fight to watch. He's already scored his third goal in his first 11 games. The big 20-year-old can play as well as fight.
Did you Know? Jaromir Jagr sealed the deal for the Dallas Stars tonight in Edmonton with a tremendous wrist-shot from the slot. That was the 669th goal of his career, surpassing Luc Robitaille and giving him sole spot of No. 10 on the all-time NHL goal-scoring list, just 22 behind former teammate Mario Lemieux. Hopefully Jagr sticks around for another year, because he could probably crack the 700-goal plateau.
Dishonourable mention: What's the opposite of a goaltenders duel? Braden Holtby and Scott Clemmensen combined for 11 goals against and an .820 save percentage ... The score-deficient Oilers and Wild each recorded a single goal tonight ... San Jose lost six straight after dropping a 1-0 overtime game in Nashville ... Brent Seabrook looked ugly scoring an own goal in his team's shootout loss to Anaheim.