No. 1 star: Marian Hossa, Detroit Red Wings
The marquee offseason free-agent acquisition was at it again for his new team as Marian Hossa scored two goals during Detroit's 3-2 win against the host Florida Panthers. Hossa extended a personal streak to four straight games with two points by scoring the first two goals for the Wings – even-strength tallies at 17:07 and 1:37, in the first and second periods, respectively. Hossa's team-leading ninth and 10th goals of the season enabled Detroit to improve to 8-1-1 on the road. The Red Wings are also unbeaten during regulation this month. In addition to his two goals, Hossa was a plus-1 with three shots and one hit during 19:22 of ice time.
No. 2 star: Jose Theodore, Washington Capitals
The team's projected starter at the start of the season had to be patient to get another chance after a rocky start, but Friday night Jose Theodore took full advantage of his latest opportunity. Theodore surrendered only a breakaway late and turned aside New Jersey's other 32 shots as the Capitals beat the Devils 3-1. Washington coach Bruce Boudreau called Theodore's first win in regulation since Oct. 16 his best performance of the season.
No. 3 star: Ron Hainsey, Atlanta Thrashers
The free-agent lured from Columbus in the summer was a pillar of defense in helping the Thrashers win a fifth straight game. In addition to blocking two shots and logging a team-high 25:40 of ice time, Hainsey added the second assist on what turned out to be the deciding goal in a 3-2 victory over the division-rival Carolina Hurricanes.
Honorable mention: Pascal Leclaire stopped 36 shots in Columbus' rout of Buffalo in the goalie's return from injury. … Dan Hamhuis picked a nice time to score his first goal of the season – 2:17 into overtime at Anaheim for Nashville's game-winner. … Carolina's Rod Brind'Amour now stands tied for 50th in all-time scoring. … Teemu Selanne enjoyed a three-assist night in his 600th game as a Duck. … The Devils took only one minor penalty (but, that should probably go in the next category, too, since it was too many men on the ice). … R.J. Umberger scored two goals for Columbus. … Alexander Ovechkin's empty-netter gave him a three-game goal-scoring streak. … Dave Bolland had two goals, an assist and was a plus-3 for the Blackhawks.
Dishonorable mention: The Sabres have followed a 6-0-1 start with a 3-4-2 stretch. … The Devils are 0-for-6 in trying to win a game in regulation since losing goalie Martin Brodeur to long-term injury. … Patrick Lalime surrendered four goals on eight shots before getting the hook from Buffalo's net (only to return much later). … Atlanta's new third jersey. Enough said.