NHL Three Stars: Pacioretty tricks Wild; Oilers hang seven on Blue Jackets

Johnny Boychuk plays defense on Rick Nash. Totally legal defense.

No. 1 Star: Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

The Minnesota Wild had won four straight coming into Montreal with Josh Harding leading the way, but Pacioretty and the Canadiens flipped the script in a big way. Pacioretty registered the natural hat trick, and no surprise -- he had 10 shots on goal in the 6-3 win. That was, as you might expect, a game-high. No one else had more than five. Here's the trick:

No. 2 Star: Marek Mazanec, Nashville Predators

The Preds' rookie stopped all 27 shots he faced for his first career shutout in the Predators 2-0 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings.

No. 3 Star: David Perron, Edmonton Oilers

Perron scored twice and added two assists in the Oilers' complete thumping of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The final score in this one was 7-0. Devan Dubnyk needed just 14 stops for the shutout.

Honorable mention: The Boston Bruins were outshot by the New York Rangers 44-22, but Tuukka Rask was on point, making 43 saves in a 2-1 Bruins win… Brenden Morrow scored twice in the St. Louis Blues 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres… Joffrey Lupul picked up three assists and Phil Kessel scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Islanders, 5-2. Sometimes Kessel makes goal-scoring look so easy:

... Kimmo Timonen's three-point night led the Philadelphia Flyers to another win, 5-2, over the Ottawa Senators… The Colorado Avalanche ended their losing streak with a dominant 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Semyon Varlamov was the game's first star, making 37 saves, although he probably didn't even need to be that good… The Florida Panthers and the Vancouver Canucks needed a shootout to decide their game, because of course they did, and Tim Thomas bested Roberto Luongo, stopping all three shooters he faced for a 3-2 Panthers win… Matt Frattin, Anze Kopitar, and Justin Williams all had two-point nights in the Los Angeles Kings' 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Did You Know? The last time the Red Wings dropped seven in a row was 2002, a year they won the Stanley Cup. So this is a good thing, maybe?

Dishonorable mention: Seriously though, the Red Wings have dropped seven straight, and eight straight at home. Win more games, Red Wings… Corey Crawford was pulled after allowing 3 goals on 7 shots… Considering the Oilers' struggles scoring at home, and the fact that it's the Oilers, the Blue Jackets surrendering seven goals is pretty embarrassing.