No. 1 Star: Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues
Despite being the Blues shiny new toy, Ryan Miller didn't start against the Penguins. He was in net for the 4-1 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, and his career stats versus Pittsburgh aren't all that great 7-13-3, 3.28 GAA, .889 SV%.
Ken Hitchcock turned to Elliott in a game some were calling a SCF preview. David Backes scored the only goal of the game midway through the third period. Elliott stopped all 33 Pittsburgh shots and saved his 1-0 shut-out by making a smart move in the first:
No. 2 Star: Matt Moulson, Minnesota Wild
In the second game of a home-and-home series, Minnesota dug themselves a hole early, going down 2-0 to Detroit. Moulson assisted on Charlie Coyle's game tying goal and then scored the 4-3 (OT) game winner. Both teams are clinging to Wild Card playoff spots.
No. 3 Star: Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
In his ninth game back from a scary infection, Rinne stifled the usually potent offense of the defending champs. He made all 29 saves to shut out the Blackhawks 2-0. Mike Underwood Fisher and Gabriel Borque provided the goals.
Honorable mention: Up against one of the top power plays in the league, the Blues went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill ... The Blues are tied with the Bruins for the top spot in the NHL ... His team may have lost the game, but Jimmy Howard did his part by making a ridiculous save in the first period:
...Helping to dispel the playoff hopes of Columbus fans, the New York Islanders beat the bugs 2-0 on the back of a 41 save performance by Evgeni Nabokov. For a 106 year-old man, Nabby's still got some great moves:
... Phil Kessel scored an incredible goal, and immediately celebrated by slamming his face into the goal post:
... Zach Kassian had a four point game (not kidding); he provided the primary assist in all four Vancouver goals leading them to the win against Buffalo, 4-2 ... With helpers from Corey Perry and Ryan Getzalf, Patrick Maroon scored his first NHL power play goal in the Ducks 6-2 rout of the Florida Panthers:
... Winner for best twitter conversation of the night goes to the Florida Panthers and the Anaheim Ducks:
.@FlaPanthers That triple deke wouldn't work against Hiller. Quicker glove hand than Julie "The Cat" Gaffney.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) March 24, 2014
Did you know? Ryan Getzlaf earned his 600th point in a Ducks uniform Sunday night, and broke the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his career.
Dishonorable mention: Evgeni Malkin committed four of Pittsburgh's 10 giveaways ... The Blue Jackets thought they heard Zach Morris yell 'time-out' and froze in place, allowing Travis Harmonic to score his second goal of the season - on the power play:
... Seth Jones did not return to the game against Chicago after the first intermission; Jones' father told FSN Tennessee his son was suffering from 'concussion-like syndrome' ... Minnesota fans held their breath the entire game while Ilya Bryzgalov was in net; Bryz stopped 13 of 16 shots ... Playing in his 1,000th NHL game, Henrik Sedin injured his left leg and did not play in the third period:
... This will definitely not help the relationship between Randy Carlyle and James Reimer, the net-minder was pulled 1:50 into the second frame after giving up three goals on 10 shots; prior to his removal, he made a stupendous paddle save on Jaromir Jagr:
... Reimer's replacement Drew MacIntyre was 15 for 15 against New Jersey in the Leafs fifth consecutive loss, 3-2 .
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