December 17, 2008
No. 1 star: Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
The team captain did all of the leading necessary Tuesday night, scoring two goals and adding two assists to match a career-high four points. Jarome Iginla scored the game's first two goals, and once the host St. Louis Blues crept back to within a goal in the second period Iginla was there when it mattered most by supplying assists on two more late-period goals as the Flames marched to a 6-3 victory. Iginla's explosion followed a streak in which he managed just one point during a three-game Calgary losing streak. Iginla, with six shots and a plus-3 during 19:10 of ice time, likes to look of the Blue Note, obviously. He improved his career numbers against St. Louis to 56 points in 46 games.
No. 2 star: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
The Washington superstar was his usual clutch self, scoring the game-winning goal late in overtime after narrowly missing on a potential game-ender earlier in the shift. Ovechkin, who scored the Caps' last goal of regulation in the second period, tickled the upper left corner of the twine with a ridiculously quick shot from the slot with 10.7 seconds remaining in OT for a 5-4 victory on Long Island. Ovechkin clanked the far post on a backhand from a near impossible angle a half-minute earlier. He was a plus-2 with six shots on net and another five that missed the 4x6 and had three hits during 24:13 of ice time. Washington is 11-1-1 this season when Ovechkin scores, and he has 19 goals now. So much for that slow start.
No. 3 star: Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
Maybe this is the game that will get Eric Staal going. The promising young center scored two power-play goals during the Hurricanes' 3-2 victory over the visiting Montreal Canadiens. Staal had both in the first period en route to 20:45 of ice time that included four shots on goal and 10 wins in the faceoff circle.
Honorable mention: Not a lot has gone right for Dallas, but Loui Eriksson scored both of the Stars' goals during an overtime victory against Phoenix, and has 14 goals already after scoring 17 last year. … The Flyers, who got a goal and two assists each from Mike Richards and Simon Gagne, are 8-0-2 in their last 10 at home and have points in 16 of their last 17 games (13-1-3). … Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff has beaten St. Louis 11 straight times. … The Maple Leafs have won three straight for the first time this season. … Colby Armstrong scored twice in 31 seconds during a win at Ottawa, an Atlanta franchise record for the fastest two goals on the road by one individual.
Dishonorable mention: That was quite the sequence for Anaheim late – Ducks' defensemen Kent Huskins and Chris Pronger assisted New York's Nigel Dawes' game-winning goal; Anaheim took six minutes of undisciplined penalties thereafter and Pronger tripped up Nikolai Zherdev on the way to a breakaway empty-net goal, which counts as an automatic goal. … Islanders' defenseman Freddy Meyer was a minus-4 against the Capitals. … Montreal took 11 of the game's first 12 penalties at Carolina. … OK, that 360-degree spinning goal by Toronto's Jason Blake for a shootout win against New Jersey was a thing of beauty, but it's not a legal move if you go by the letter of the law. The puck must always be moving forward during a shootout attempt, and that move is impossible to pull off without stopping the puck's forward progress for even a split second.