January 16, 2010
No. 1 star, Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals:
The team's new captain scored his 29th goal of the season just 49 seconds after the opening faceoff, then turned to distributor as he dished out a career-high four assists to lead the Caps' rout of the defensively-challenged Maple Leafs. The Great Eight was a plus-3 with two shots on goal and registered two hits during a low night in terms of ice time (17:50), which makes sense since it was a laugher and the Caps play for the fourth time in six days on Sunday.
No. 2 star, Dan Ellis(notes), Nashville Predators:
Twenty-two saves was what it took for the goalie to register his first shutout of the season and No. 10 for his career as the Predators beat the host Flames.
No. 3 star, Patric Hornqvist(notes), Nashville Predators:
The 23-year-old Swedish-born winger scored with 6:22 remaining to account for all of the game's scoring. Hornqvist has burst on the scene this season to lead the Preds with 19 goals in 49 games just a year after collecting two goals in 28 games during his rookie season.
Honorable mention: Washington's Mike Knuble(notes) scored two goals and now has five goals in his last five games. Jose Theodore(notes) followed up consecutive relief appearances to start and stop 28 of 29 shots for the Caps. … OK, so we're going to ignore the minus-2 and accentuate the 10 shots on goal and 10 other efforts deemed off-net for Toronto's Niklas Hagman(notes), even if none settled in the back of the Washington net. … Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) should sue for non-support. He stopped 20 shots, but needed to stop all 21 for the Flames to earn at least one point. … Steve Sullivan(notes) won a puck battle behind the Calgary net and fed it out front to produce Nashville's game-winner.
Did you know?: The Flames-Predators matchup featured the most and least pugilistic teams in the league? Calgary has rolled up 50 fighting majors compared to only 13 for Nashville. But that disparity didn't prevent Brian McGrattan(notes) of the Flames and Wade Belak(notes) of the Predators from dropping the gloves for the third time against one another this season.
Dishonorable mention: It's quite an unofficial stat, but Toronto's Vesa Toskala(notes) just might lead the league in allowing goals on the first shot he faced, much like he did Friday night. … Toronto defenseman Ian White(notes) was a minus-4. … The Flames have lost three straight and are 1-4-1 in their last six games.