No. 1 Star: Cory Schneider, Vancouver Canucks
The "backup" goalie for the Canucks won his fourth straight start, stopping 43 San Jose Sharks shots in a 3-2 victory. He was the difference in the game: Making 19 saves in the second period as Henrik Sedin and Andrew Alberts gave the Canucks a 2-goal lead. Manny Malhotra had the other goal. According to Jeff Paterson of Team 1040: "Schneider has stopped 117 of 120 shots on four game win streak - 97.5 percent."
No. 2 Star: Valtteri Filppula, Detroit Red Wings
Filppula had a point on each of the Red Wings' first three goals, leading Detroit to a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators, its fifth straight win. Both goals resulted from good work in front: Scoring on the backhand after a Pekka Rinne rebound in the first, and then tipping home a Jiri Hudler shot in the second. Sandwiched between them was an assist on Henrik Zetterberg's goal. Danny Cleary had the other tally for the Wings.
No. 3 Star: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
The King posted his 37th career shutout, 2-0, over the Philadelphia Flyers in front of HBO cameras at MSG. He stopped 29 shots, allowing goals by Brad Richards and rookie Carl Hagelin stand up. The Rangers are now 6-1-1 at home.
Honorable mention: Mike Smith stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the season, as a smothering Phoenix Coyotes defense defeated the Dallas Stars, 3-0. Mikkel Boedker, Ray Whitney and Taylor Pyatt had the goals. … Chris Kelly scored twice in the second period to give him nine goals on the season and the Boston Bruins the lead, as they defeated the Winnipeg Jets, 4-2. Tim Thomas made 40 saves. Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien (2 points) had the Jets goals. … Michael Grabner's unassisted shorthanded goal, off an Ilya Kovalchuk turnover, was the difference for the New York Islanders in their 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Al Montoya stepped up in the third, making 24 saves for the game. … The Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens had an epic battle at Bell Centre, with the Penguins tying the game on a Jordan Staal goal at 15:30 of the third and then winning the game, 4-3, on this controversial Kris Letang goal — after Max Pacioretty broke his nose on a hit at the end of the third. Full marks to James Neal for digging the puck out of Carey Price's glove*:
The Colorado Avalanche rallied in the third period with four goals, topping the Edmonton Oilers, 5-2, in a critical game. Shane O'Brien scored his first of the season to tie the game. Stefan Elliott broke up a 2-on-1 break for the Oilers and then scored his first NHL goal on the next shift. Jan Hejda and Paul Stastny had the other goals in the third. Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves. Landislav Smid and Jay McClement Ryan Jones had the goals for Edmonton. … Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist, as the Tampa Bay Lightning swept the Florida Panthers this weekend, beating them 5-1. Mathieu Garon (24 saves) won both games. … The Buffalo Sabres were shorthanded, but ran into a mess of a Washington Capitals team to win 5-1. Luke Adam scored two goals, and Zack Kassian notched his first NHL goal. Jhonas Enorth made 26 saves. Jason Chimera's penalty shot was the lone goal for the Caps. … Corey Crawford made 26 saves, including one on Anze Kopitar with seconds left, as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 2-1. Jonathan Toews broke a 1-1 tie in the second. Duncan Keith had two assists. Jarret Stoll ended a 17-game goal drought. … Finally, this Brandon Prust vs. Zac Rinaldo fight four seconds into the game was a suitable trailer for HBO 24/7:
Did you know? This was the 27th time Chicago has played back-to-back road games against Kings and Ducks, and only the fourth time the Blackhawks have won both. (AP)
Dishonorable mention: Zach Parise disagreed, but we think the War Room got this one right in calling back his near-game-tying goal vs. the Islanders with one second left:
The Oilers lost Taylor Hall to a left shoulder injury, following a check by Ryan Wilson and a cross-check by Kyle Quincey. … Bad times for the Stars: Starting goalie Kari Lehtonen was lost to a lower-body injury, Trevor Daley to an upper-body and Vernon Fiddler to a lower-body injury. Scary scene in Detroit, as Patrick Eaves took a slap shot to the head and was stretchered off. He's being treated at a local hospital. … Will this Max Pacioretty hit on Letang earn a Shannaban? … After giving up 11 goals in two games and looking listless against the Sabres, are we seeing the last days of Bruce Boudreau with the Capitals? Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin were both minus-4 in the loss. … Along with his turnover on Grabner's goal, Kovalchuk also took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty late in the third for complaining about a non-call. … Dmitry Kulikov was a minus-3. … … *Price was rightfully upset about the officials not blowing the puck dead in OT when he had it covered. (Video sadly misses the F-bomb Price dropped at the start of this media chat.)