Eriksson fired 12 pucks at the net against the Anaheim Ducks: Seven registered as shots and three of those seven beat Jonas Hiller(notes) (37 saves) as the Dallas Stars defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 5-3. It was Eriksson's second career hat trick. His first goal was
unassisted from Mike Ribeiro and shorthanded; his other two came at even strength and on helpers by Jere Lehtinen(notes) and Brad Richards(notes).
The Sharks' backup goaltender had an impressive night: Stopping all 18 shots he faced in a first-period blitz by the Phoenix Coyotes and then all six shots he faced in the shootout, leading San Jose to a 3-2 win over a steaking opponent. Greiss had 34 saves overall.
He hadn't scored a goal since Nov. 11. He was only playing because Patrick Eaves(notes) had the flu. But the maligned Wings rookie tipped home a Derek Meech(notes) shot with 3:52 left in the game to give the Wings a lead they wouldn't surrender, leading to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Since nothing is coming easy for Leino this season, the play needed video review validation. But it was a good goal, and Leino impressed Mike Babcock.
Honorable mention: Andrei Markov(notes) had three assists and Benoit Pouliot(notes) scored what would be the game-winner in the third as the Montreal Canadiens held off the Florida Panthers, 5-4, peppering Tomas Vokoun(notes) with 42 shots. ... Wacky shootout between the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators, as five of the six shooters scored. The one guy who didn't? John Tavares(notes) against Pascal Leclaire(notes), which would be the difference in Ottawa's 3-2 win. ... Joel Ward(notes) (2 assists) stole the puck from a Columbus Blue Jackets player and set up David Legwand(notes) for the game winner in OT as the Nashville Predators won, 2-1. ... Brandon Yip(notes) scored both Colorado goals. ... The New York Rangers played hard and earned a win over the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1, with Brandon Dubinsky(notes) netting the game-winner in the third. ... Alexander Frolov(notes) had two goals and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings rolled to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. ... Curtis Glencross(notes) had the game winner and Curtis McElhinney(notes) just missed a shutout in the Calgary Flames' 2-1 Battle of Alberta win over the Edmonton Oilers. ... The Chicago Blackhawks sent a message by building a 5-0 lead over the New Jersey Devils and winning 5-1 against Marty Brodeur. The Devils also sent a message that playing three games in four nights makes them look like they're skating in slow motion.
Dishonorable mention: The inability of the St. Louis Blues to win at home is one of the most startling numbers of the season. The Blues are now 6-13-3 in St. Louis, losing in OT to the Vancouver Canucks, 4-3. Christian Ehrhoff(notes) scored a power-play goal after Brad Boyes(notes) earned a 4-minute high-sticking penalty. ... Cal Clutterbuck(notes) of the Wild and the Devils' Dean McAmmond(notes), Johnny Oduya(notes) and Jay Pandolfo(notes) were all minus-3. ... Pete DeBoer was none too happy about his team getting two "puck over the glass" delay of game penalties to set up Montreal's go-ahead goal: "It was suicide." ... Mike Commodore(notes) was a healthy scratch for the second straight game for Columbus. ... Finally, we were more than happy to see Rick Rypien(notes) and Cam Janssen(notes) throw down, because they always put on a good show. Alas, "the legend of Rick Rypien" now includes a match penalty for having tape on his wrist and thumb. The Canucks dispute that Janssen was cut by the tape: