NHL Three Stars: Budaj blanks Penguins; Ristolainen scores in OT

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 16: Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with teammates after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 at PPG Paints Arena on December 16, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)
Peter Budaj of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with teammates after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 at PPG Paints Arena on December 16, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)

No. 1 Star: Peter Budaj, Los Angeles Kings

The veteran netminder stopped all 39 shots on goal from the Pittsburgh Penguins to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 1-0 overtime win. This matched his career high for most saves in a shutout from Feb. 13, 2007 when he was a member of the Colorado Avalanche. The Kings have now won two straight and three of their last four.

No. 2 Star: Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres

Ristolainen scored the overtime winner at the 0:42 mark to help the Sabres to a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. He also added an assist on Johan Larsson’s second period goal. Ristolainen has scored two goals this season — both coming in overtime. Ristolainen joined Phil Housley, Tyler Myers and Jason Woolley as the only Sabres defensemen to score multiple overtime goals in their careers with the team.

No. 3 Star: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets

Bobrovsky continued to make his case as one of the most valuable players in the NHL, stopping 22 of 23 shots on goal in a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames. The netminder picked up his seventh straight win, and leads all goaltenders with 18 overall this season. The Blue Jackets have won eight straight games, which is tied for the second-longest streak in team history, dating back to Jan. 6-23, 2014. In their last 16 games they are 13-1-2.

Honorable Mention: Blue Jackets forward Sam Gagner scored his 13th goal of the season in the win over Calgary. Teammate Brandon Saad scored his ninth goal of the year. … Florida Panthers goaltender James Reimer stopped 30 of 31 shots on goal in a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. … Florida forward Reilly Smith scored his sixth goal of the season, which proved the game-winner. … Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov notched his 15th assist. … Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin scored his 14th goal of the season in a 4-3 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes. … Caps forward Evgeny Kuznetsov notched an assist and scored the shootout winner. Teammate T.J. Oshie scored a goal in regulation and also scored in the shootout. … Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen scored his eighth goal of the season and added an assist. … San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier scored the first goal of his NHL career on his first shot on goal in a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. … Sharks forward Patrick Marleau scored the 489th goal of his NHL career. … San Jose goaltender Martin Jones stopped 26 of 28 shots on goal. … Kings forward Tyler Toffoli scored the overtime winner at the 1:00 mark. … Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat scored the game-winner in his team’s 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The goal came at the 7:46 mark of the third period. … Canucks forwards Loui Eriksson and Markus Granlund each notched two assists. … Vancouver defenseman Luca Sbisa scored his first goal in 33 games played. … Canucks forward Brandon Sutter also scored a goal. … Tampa forward Cory Conacher scored his first NHL goal since Oct. 11, 2014.

Did you know? On Friday, Mattias Ohlund became the sixth member of the Canucks’ ring of honor.

Dishonorable Mention: Flames goaltender Chad Johnson allowed four goals on 29 shots on goal. It was the second straight game he allowed four goals. … Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was yanked for the first time since Oct. 13, 2014. He allowed four goals on 18 shots on goal. … Habs defenseman Shea Weber has gone pointless in his last eight games. … The Lightning fell to 2-7-1 in their last 10 games … The Islanders have lost four games in a row.

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