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Ross McKeon

Monday's three stars: Rinne plays the road warrior

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No. 1 star: Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
You can't ask much more in terms of results from a backup goalie than what Pekka Rinne has given the Nashville Predators at the start of his career. Rinne improved to 4-0 this season and 5-1 in his career by posting his first shutout, a 2-0 beauty at Buffalo. Well, maybe it wasn't a beauty, but Rinne was perfect, stopping all 30 shots directed his way during the turnover-fest. Rinne was making just his ninth NHL appearance, and he helped the Predators bounce back from an ugly loss in Minnesota two nights earlier while Nashville was playing for the third time in four nights.

No. 2 star: Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche
Paul Stastny kick-started the second-lowest scoring team in the Western Conference with a three-point game as the Colorado Avalanche went into St. Paul and beat the Minnesota Wild 6-5. Stastny scored his first of the night nearly four minutes into the second period to tie the game 3-3. He provided the primary assist on Colorado's go-ahead tally almost five minutes later and scored what turned out to be the game-winner late in the period. In addition to his scoring, Stastny put a team-high seven shots on goal and skated a team-best 24:12 while splitting 24 draws right down the middle (12 wins, 12 losses).

No. 3 star: Vesa Toskala, Toronto Maple Leafs
The veteran netminder allowed a goal just 57 seconds after the opening faceoff in Los Angeles, but Vesa Toskala was a wall after that, allowing the Toronto Maple Leafs to rally for a 3-1 win over the Kings.

Honorable mention: Ryan Miller was very good in a losing cause for Buffalo, several of his 25 saves were highlight-reel material. … Columbus has never reached the playoffs, but you might be surprised to learn the Blue Jackets have an all-time winning record at home (137-121-18-24) after 300 games. … Detroit is 23-3-3 all-time during regular-season play at Joe Louis Arena when Anaheim is the visitor.

Dishonorable mention: When Vancouver loses this season there's not a lot of mystery why. The Canucks have a grand total of 17 goals scored during their 11 defeats. … We know they played in Columbus the night before while the Red Wings were resting, but the Ducks getting outshot 47-16 in Detroit on Monday is still a bit embarrassing.

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