No. 1 Star: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Kane set up both Blackhawks goals (one on the prettiest feed of the year), won 7 of 12 faceoffs, and scored the winner in the shootout as the Hawks downed the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. The Pat Kane at centre experiment looked pretty good Tuesday night.
No. 2 Star: Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins
Fleury stopped all 33 shots he faced versus the New York Islanders, recording the 20th shutout of his career as the Pens knocked off the Isles, 3-0. Pascal Dupuis scored the game-winning goal 17:06 into the first period of what was an unexpectedly tame game between these two teams: there were only five minor penalties called, and one of them was for diving.
No. 3 Star: Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
The Sharks held a 1-0 lead for most of Tuesday night's contest with the Nashville Predators, but with seven minutes to go, Predators centre Craig Smith tied the game. Then Joe Pavelski took matters into his own hands, scoring the game-winner only a minute later, and icing the 3-1 win four minutes after that with the empty-netter. And once again, he didn't take a single faceoff, which is just absurd to me.
Honourable mention: Steve Mason made 30 saves, Grant Clitsome had three assists, and both R.J. Umberger and Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets actually won a game, defeating the Detroit Red Wings 4-1, JUST AS I PREDICTED... Jeff Skinner scored the game-tying goal with only two and a half minutes to go in the third period, but Jason Spezza scored the lone goal in the shootout as the Ottawa Senators topped the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2... Ryan Malone put Tampa Bay Lightning up by two with only a minute and a half to go versus the Buffalo Sabres, a goal that matter when Nathan Gerbe made it 4-3 in Buffalo only thirty-three seconds later... Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist in a losing cause for the Ducks... Joe Thornton notches career assists 699 and 700 in the Sharks' win... Nikolai Khabibulin made 35 saves, several lovely, as the Oilers held on for a 3-2 win versus the Vancouver Canucks. His team pitched in with an impressive 31 blocked shots of their own, and Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle contributed a goal and an assist. The Sedins and Alex Burrows combined for this pretty goal to make things interesting in the third:
It was a goaltenders' duel in Phoenix -- I am not kidding -- as Kari Lehtonen and Mike Smith made 33 and 34 saves, respectively, then refused to budge in a 16-round shootout before Trevor Daley finally gave the Dallas Stars the 3-2 win. Shane Doan scored his 300th career goal in the loss... Johan Hedberg picked up the shutout and Danius Zubrus had two goals in the New Jersey Devils' 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings...
Did you know? Teemu Selanne's goal was the 640th of his career, tying him with Dave Andreychuk for 13th all-time in NHL scoring. Who's 12th? Jaromir Jagr, at 648. Think he came back to the NHL solely to prevent Selanne from catching him? I totally do. Who's 11th? Brendan Shanahan, so if Selanne or Jagr gets a curiously lengthy suspension this year, we know why.
Dishonourable mention? Evgeni Malkin went 2-for-9 in the faceoff circle for Pittsburgh... the Senators won in a shootout, but it wouldn't have gotten that far if they were able to hold the 2-0 lead they held until fifteen minutes into the third period... Roberto Luongo got pulled for the second time this season already, and Cory Schneider made him look even worse by making this obscene save in relief:
And an additional dishonourable mention to me for including two Canuck highlights. I didn't want to, but both the goal and the save were the best on the evening (save Kane's sick feed). Still, feel free to lambaste me in the comments.