There's no better Cinderella story in the NHL at the moment than the rise of Matt Moulson. The free-agent pickup, who had one point in his last six games, exploded for a hat trick as the Islanders upended the Atlanta Thrashers 4-1. Atlanta looked to extend its 10-0-0 record when scoring first, but Moulson scored twice in the second period and capped off the trick with less than seven minutes to play in the third period. Moulson leads New York in goals with 14 and is tied with John Tavares(notes) with 22 points for the team lead.
A night after besting Martin Brodeur(notes) and the New Jersey Devils, Roberto Luongo blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 for his 49th career shutout. Stopping 29 shots in the final two periods, Luongo continues to prove his case to be the man in goal for Team Canada at the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver. Henrik Sedin(notes) set up two goals, including Willie Mitchell's(notes) third of the season that opened the scoring midway through the second period.
Back after missing seven games, Semin showed he's carrying no lingering wrist issues with a four-point performance in a 6-2 rout of the Florida Panthers. Semin tallied twice, scoring the first and last goal for the Capitals on the night. The win puts Washington in a tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the Eastern Conference standings at 40 points.
Honorable mention: Ryan Miller(notes) continued his quest to earn the starting job for the U.S. Olympic team as he stopped 21 Montreal shots for his 16th win as Buffalo defeated the Canadiens 6-2 for its fourth win in a row. Thomas Vanek(notes) assisted on three of the six Sabre goals. ... Oilers goaltender Jeff Deslauriers made 27 saves and Patrick O'Sullivan's(notes) pair of goals in the second period sunk Detroit 4-1 ... Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson's(notes) 26 saves paved the way for his ninth win ... Phil Kessel(notes) continued his tear scoring twice in a Maple Leafs win. Kessel now has 10 goals in 13 games. He also won a wrestling match with Columbus' Kris Russell(notes) in the third period. Jason Blake(notes) also scored two goals, doubling his season total. Making 33 saves in the process, Joey MacDonald(notes) secured his first win since March 27th ... With a goal and two assists, Brendan Morrison(notes) had his first multi-point game since November 6th. Semyon Varlamov(notes) stopped 26 Florida shots for his 11th win of the season. Washington improved their record to 5-1-1 without Alex Ovechkin(notes) ... Sidney Crosby(notes) now has 11 points in his last three games after a two goal-one assist performance against Colorado ... Ducks defenseman Ryan Whitney(notes) played in his 300th NHL game ... Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) made 28 saves for the Coyotes and earned his 15th win ... Justin Williams'(notes) two goal late in the third period to give the Kings a 6-3 win over Ottawa ... Pointless in his last four games, Anze Kopitar(notes) returned to the scoresheet with an assist ... If only Jonathan Cheechoo(notes) could play every game against Los Angeles. His goal tonight gives him 20 tallies in 36 career games against the Kings ... Mike Fisher(notes) scored his 11th and 12th goals of the year for the Senators ... In the game of the night St. Louis beat San Jose 3-2 in the shootout. After being stopped on a 2-on-1 with under a minute remaining, the Blues came back and tied things with seven second left thanks to a desperation slap-shot while shorthanded from Carlo Colaiacovo(notes). T.J. Oshie(notes) would give the Blues the extra point with the winning goal in the shootout ... Via the penalty shot, Wayne Simmonds(notes) scored his ninth of the year and fourth in five games:
Did you know?: Philadelphia has now been shutout for in back-to-back games for the first time since February of 2003. (AP)
Dishonorable mention: With their defeat to the Sabres, Montreal has now lost five of their last six while Edmonton's win gives the Red Wings two wins in their last six games .. Detroit rookie Jakub Kindl(notes) made his NHL debut tonight and finished a minus-two ... Maxim Afinogenov(notes) and Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) went a combined minus-six for the Thrashers ... Chased yet again, Steve Mason(notes) allowed four Toronto goals on 14 shots. The 2009 Calder Trophy winner has won once in his last seven starts ... Down a goal for more than half of the third period, the Colorado Avalanche could only muster a single shot on Marc-Andre Fleury(notes). Paul Stastny(notes), Milan Hejduk(notes), and Matt Duchesne were each a minus-three ... The "intent to blow" rule cost the Avs the go-ahead goal in the second period ... Corey Perry(notes) saw his 19-game point streak end in 3-1 loss to Dallas. Aside from the defeat, Anaheim will be without Teemu Selanne(notes) who broke his hand after blocking a shot ... With six goals allowed tonight, Ottawa goaltender Brian Elliott(notes) let in 13 goals in his past three starts ... The Sens could have used some help in the faceoff circle after winning just 19 of 51 draws.
- Matt Moulson