No. 1 Star: Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
Suter couldn't stop smiling after the Wild's 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals, and for good reason. He was on the ice for over half of it, skating 31:03, and he was all over it too, scoring three times to propel his club to victory. It was his first career hat trick, and we're not just talking NHL career. Like, ever.
No. 2 Star: Torey Krug, Boston Bruins
"He was terrible," said Boston coach Claude Julien when asked about Krug's performance in a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Julien was being sarcastic. Krug had 2 goals an an assist in the victory.
No. 3 Star: Daniel Briere, Montreal Canadiens
Danny Briere had two goals and an assist for the Canadiens, including a goal and an assist in the third period, as Montreal stormed back to tie a game with the Ottawa Senators. But it wouldn't be enough, as Clarke MacArthur won the game for Ottawa, 4-3, in overtime.
Honorable mention: Nathan MacKinnon scored twice as the Colorado Avalanche held off a late surge from the San Jose Sharks for a 4-3 win. MacKinnon's second goal was also the Avalanche's second in 14 seconds:
.. The Carolina Hurricanes scored thrice in the second, with two assisted by Patrick Dwyer, as they beat the New York Islanders 3-2... Dominic Moore scored twice in the New York Rangers' 7-1 throttling of the Toronto Maple Leafs... Tomas Kopecky's shootout goal was the difference in a 5-4 Florida Panthers' win over the Nashville Predators... The Dallas Stars outshot the Detroit Red Wings 45-27, but Jimmy Howard made 44 saves in a 5-1 Wings win... Patrik Berglund scored twice as the St. Louis Blues hammered the Columbus Blue Jackets, 6-2... The Philadelphia Flyers scored four unanswered goals to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 win versus the Phoenix Coyotes... Jeff Carter scored the game-winner and an empty-netter as the Los Angeles Kings' bumped their losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Did you know? The Buffalo Sabres are riding a five-game home win streak after their 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Dishonorable mention: The Capitals lost 5-3 despite only surrendering 11 shots to the Wild. Braden Holtby was in net for all 5 goals against. He outsaved his goals allowed by one. One! How bad and unprecedented was this?
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) January 5, 2014
... The Leafs were booed off the ice in every period versus New York. "It’s embarrassing," said Joffrey Lupul. "Getting booed off the ice first period, second period and the end of the game, and we deserved it."