Detroit welcomed Pavel Datsyuk(notes) back to their lineup after missing 19 games with a wrist injury and while he picked up where he left off (goal, assist, three takeaways), it was Howard who made the difference in the Red Wings' 3-2 win over the New York Rangers. Howard made a season-high 45 saves for his 26th win of the season and Detroit improved to 18-0-2 when leading after two periods.
Even with his team being outshot 16-6 after the first period, Dubnyk held strong to stop 37 Nashville shots en route to a 4-0 win. The shutout was Dubnyk's first of his career and snapped a four-game losing streak for the Oilers. The Predators, however, have now lost five of six. Andrew Cogliano(notes) and Jordan Eberle(notes) each had a goal and an assist, while Ryan Jones(notes), playing against his former team, tallied his 12th of the season.
Samuelsson extended his points streak to four games with a three-point effort as Vancouver beat Ottawa 4-2. Since recording just a single point in 14 games, Samuelsson now has 11 in his last six games for the red-hot Canucks. Roberto Luongo(notes) made 31 saves and Mason Raymond(notes) had three helpers as Vancouver improved to 21-2-6 in their past 29 games.
Honorable mention: Radim Vrbata's(notes) first multi-goal game since the opening night against Boston paced Phoenix to a 3-0 victory over Colorado. Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) stopped 26 shots for his second straight shutout and fifth of the year ... Curtis Glencross(notes) and Rene Bourque(notes) scored third period goals as Calgary put themselves into the eighth seed in the Western Conference with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Olli Jokinen(notes) assisted on both to reach the 600-point mark of his NHL career. Miikka Kipprusoff made 22 saves for his sixth win in seven starts ... Nikolai Kulemin(notes), Clarke MacArthur(notes) and Mikhail Grabovski(notes) each recorded two points and Dion Phaneuf(notes) scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf at Air Canada Centre as Toronto downed Atlanta 5-4. Dustin Byfuglien(notes) snapped his 13-game scoring drought in the loss.