October 16, 2009
No. 1 star, Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals:
Alexander Ovechkin gets all the headlines for his goal-scoring, but besides lighting the lamp twice on Thursday night he was a leader when the Capitals needed it most. Winless in their last four games after starting the second with consecutive wins, Ovechkin knew the last thing Washington needed was a team traveling cross country to step on the Caps' home ice and extend the host's recent slide. Ovechkin and Co. established they would dictate the tempo early. Ovechkin didn't score in the opening period, but he put San Jose on its heels with eight shots on net and another three wide. His two goals within a 28-second span early in the second period broke it open against the Sharks. Ovechkin now has a league-high seven goals for the year and he's the leading scorer with 434 points since the NHL returned from the lockout that canceled the entire 2004-05 season.
No. 2 star, Milan Michalek(notes), Ottawa Senators:
Don't look now, but one of the forwards traded for Dany Heatley(notes) has only one fewer goal than the ex-disgruntled Senator. That's because the left wing Michalek displayed his speed and skill against beleaguered Tampa Bay, which allowed two short-handed goals to quiet Czech and a power-play goal to boot. Michalek has four goals now as a Senator.
No. 3 star, Nicklas Lidstrom(notes), Detroit Red Wings:
The Swedish-born future Hall of Famer added to his credentials with two assists to become the eighth defenseman in the history of the game and fourth Red Wing overall to collect 1,000 career points. The six-time Norris Trophy winner has 229 goals and 771 assists in 1,336 career games.
Honorable mention: Phoenix's Ed Jovanovski(notes) crashed the net and had a puck deflect somewhere off of him to count as the game-winner 3:37 into overtime against visiting St. Louis, a goal that stood after a lengthy review. … Eighteen-year-old Ryan O'Reilly(notes) scored his first career goal at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the very same building in which the Colorado Avalanche drafted him four months earlier. … Jarkko Ruutu(notes) scored a goal and added two assists while Daniel Alfredsson(notes) chipped in three helpers during the Senators' rout. … The Lightning have played six games this season and Martin St. Louis(notes) has at least one point in ever one of them. … Two assists, two blocked shots in six seconds short of 26 minutes on the ice for Brent Seabrook(notes) of Chicago, which got five blocked shots from fellow defenseman Brent Sopel(notes).
Did you know?: It took four career games to make San Jose the 29th and final opponent – assuming he remains a Washington Capital his entire career and there is no further expansion – against which Alexander Ovechkin scored a goal. Then it took 28 seconds to get career goal No. 2 against the Sharks.
Dishonorable mention: This whole 100th anniversary thing just isn't working out for the Montreal Canadiens. The storied franchise lost at home on Thursday, the 100th home opener in franchise history. … The Sharks didn't start their six-game Eastern road trip off on the right skate. They took five minor penalties in the first period and faced two 5-on-3s in Washington en route to a lackluster loss. … The Predators managed only 13 shots at home against a Blackhawks' team that played the previous night.