Evgeni Nabokov has returned from missing seven recent games due to injury with vengeance. Nabokov capped a weekend of back-to-back wins with 34 saves in Anaheim, and each one was needed since the offensively-challenged Sharks supported their top goalie with just one goal. Coming off a 2-1 win when he stopped 23 shots in regulation and another six of seven in the shootout on Saturday, Nabokov stopped the Ducks at every turn – spearheading a 4-for-4 effort on the penalty kill – to collect his sixth shutout of the season and the 46th of his career.
No. 2 star, Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins:
The former Anaheim Duck continued his positive contributions to his new team. A scoring change away from notching a hat trick, Kunitz settled for two goals and an assist during Pittsburgh's eighth win in 10 games (8-0-2). Kunitz assisted the Penguins' first goal of the opening period and scored the team's second one before the first intermission. After having a goal 43 seconds into the final period changed to Sergei Gonchar, Kunitz left no doubt at 1:01 with his 21st of the season. Kunitz also contributed four hits and two blocked shots during his 17:09 of ice time.
No. 3 star, Peter Mannino, New York Islanders:
The 25-year-old rookie goaltender faced a shooting gallery in Chicago on Sunday, but was up to the task during his first NHL start and only second appearance in the league. Peter Mannino stopped 40 of 42 shots, including three partial breakaways as the Islanders improved to 6-2-1 in their last nine games.
Honorable mention: Detroit's Chris Osgood stopped 23 shots for his 49th career shutout. … Sean Avery scored two power-play goals in the same game for the first time during his 408-game career, and he drew two penalties as the Rangers beat the Flyers. … Travis Moen celebrated his return to Anaheim by scoring the only goal of the game for his new team, San Jose. … Sidney Crosby had three assists to extend his current points scoring streak to 10 straight games. The Penguins also played in front of their 100th consecutive home sellout, a streak that started Feb. 14, 2007 … St. Louis converted three of seven power-play chances on the second night of back-to-backs to beat Minnesota. … Alex Burrows had a goal and an assist during 20:01 of ice time to lead the Canucks over the Avalanche.
Did you know?: The Red Wings set a league record with nine straight 100-point seasons.
Dishonorable mention: Boston's Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Wideman were each minus-3. Bergeron did, however, win 19 of 27 draws. … The Blackhawks sprung a leak on the penalty kill, allowing the Islanders three power-play goals in seven chances. … The Sharks have scored only 19 goals in their last 11 games (held to one goal in regulation seven times).
- Evgeni Nabokov