January 11, 2009
No. 1 star, Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers:
New York's marquee goaltender capped quite a week Saturday night. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 33 shots against a desperate Ottawa Senators team to record his second shutout in three games with a 2-0 victory on the road. Lundquist blanked Pittsburgh earlier in the week for his first shutout of the season. He has 19 for his career. Oh, and he was named to his first All-Star game, too, in mid-week.
No. 2 star, Nikita Filatov, Columbus Blue Jackets:
After scoring eight goals to help Russia to the bronze medal in the recent World Junior Championships, the 18-year-old rookie forward brought the same goal-scoring touch back to Columbus. Nikita Filatov notched the first hat trick by a rookie in Blue Jackets' history during the team's 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. All three of his goals came at even strength as Filatov was a plus-3 with five shots on goal a tick short of only 10 minutes of ice time.
No. 3 star, Jeff Carter, Philadelphia Flyers:
The surprising league-leading goal scorer with 29 scored a pair to help the Flyers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs and keep Philadelphia red hot at home. Carter broke a 1-1 tie 5:59 in the third period before adding an empty-netter late. He led the Flyers with seven shots on goal and won 14 of 23 draws during 19:06 of ice time as Philly improved to 12-0-2 in its last 14 games at home.
Honorable mention: Hats off to Nashville's Steve Sullivan, who after two back surgeries and 153 straight games missed, returned to the Predators on Saturday night. David Legwand scored two goals and has three in two games since moving from center to left wing. … Michael Ryder scored two goals and David Krejci added three points as the Bruins hammered the Hurricanes. … Martin Biron stopped 41 of 42 shots for the Flyers. … Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov made 38 saves in regulation and stopped three of five in the shootout for a shutout victory over Dallas. … Ville Peltonen scored two goals in Florida's win and has four in his last five games following a 14-game drought. … David Jones had two goals and an assist in Colorado's win. … Patrick Marleau scored the tie-breaking goal in the third period at Vancouver and added another tally late for a second two-goal game in as many nights. … Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson had a goal and assist each in Detroit's win.
Dishonorable mention: Pittsburgh lost for the seventh time in eight games and is 1-9 during its 10 most recent games against Colorado. … The Capitals surrendered four third-period goals in Montreal, including the winner with 21.2 seconds remaining. … We know Ryan Miller was coming off a 43-save effort and a shootout win Friday night, we know the Sabres had won four in a row and we know Miller attended Michigan State so any game at Detroit is special, but Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff should have gone to backup Patrick Lalime against the Red Wings. Detroit peppered Miller with 48 shots, and fatigue clearly played a part on the two goals the Red Wings scored late for the victory.