December 12, 2011
Stepan's brilliant unassisted goal at 5:45 of the second period opened the flood gates for the Rangers' 6-1 romp over the Florida Panthers — skating against four Panthers defenders, and beating Jose Theodore. Stepan assisted on Marian Gaborik's 15th to make it 5-1, and then scored his second of the game and seventh on the season to close out the scoring.
Hossa was dangerous every time he touched the puck in the third period against the San Jose Sharks, and he was the catalyst for both the game-tying and game-winning goals for Chicago. His shot from the top of the zone was tipped home by Andrew Brunette at 18:54 of the third to knot the game 2-2; at 4:26 of overtime, his hard slap shot was forced Antti Niemi to make a tough save, allowing Patrick Sharp to score the game-winner. Speaking of which …
No. 3 Star: Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks
Honorable mention: Artem Anisimov had a goal and an assist for the Rangers; Brad Richards and Steve Eminger had the other goals. Eminger and Michael Del Zotto were both a plus-4. … Erik Gudbranson scored for Florida. … Justin Braun had his first of the season in the second period, after Jamie McGinn and Marcus Kruger traded goals. … Niemi was often brilliant in the third period, as Chicago outshot the Sharks 16-3. … Ray Emery (35 saves) got the win for the Blackhawks.
Dishonorable mention: Theodore was brutal, giving up six goals on 22 shots. … Minus-3 players for the Panthers: Sean Bergenheim, Ed Jovanovski and Tomas Kopecky. … Marc-Edouard Vlasic was a minus-2. … Sean Avery was a healthy scratch for the Rangers; Said Torts: "He hasn't got a bunch of ice time. I'm just having problems finding ice for him."