"Friendship is the best thing ever, except for best friendship which is a little better..."
No. 1 Star: Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings
Immediately following the Jeff Carter trade, rumours surfaced that Dustin Brown was available. Clearly, this annoyed Brown some. He shrugged off the first game of the reunited Carchards power couple to become the story, registering a hat trick and an assist to give the Kings the 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Here's the hat trick:
No. 2 Star: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Malkin had been quiet versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, only picking up an assist on a Chris Kunitz goal, but, after Dwayne Roloson shoved him to the ice midway through the second, he went off. In the next 20 minutes, he scored thrice, including one of the best goals of the year, to lead the Penguins to an 8-1 win. In 2 games versus the Lightning this season, Malkin has 11 points. They can't handle him. Here's Malkin's trick:
No. 3 Star: Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
The rookie winger had a monster game for the Avalanche, scoring twice, and registering six shots and five hits in just over twenty minutes of icetime as Colorado knocked off the Detroit Red Wings 4-3. Steve Downie added a goal and two assists. He now has 5 points in 3 games with the Avalanche. Also, don't look now, but the Red Wings have lost 2 straight at Joe Louis Arena. Oh noes!
Honorable mention: Jordan Staal added 2 goals and an assist for the Penguins, and James Neal and Steve Sullivan had 3 assists apiece... Jonathan Quick picked up his NHL-best 7th shutout, and Willie Mitchell had a goal and an assist for the Kings... Blake Wheeler did it all, scoring twice to get the Winnipeg Jets back on even terms with the St. Louis Blues, then potting their only goal in the shootout, but it wasn't enough. The Blues won 3-2, with David Perron scoring the shootout winner... Ryan Callahan's 100th NHL goal was the overtime winner in the New York Rangers' 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Drew Stafford scored both Sabres' goals, the second of which broke Henrik Lundqvist's pads:
Mike Smith picked up his 10th straight win in the Phoenix Coyotes 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. The Coyotes are 10-0-1 in February and have taken over top spot in the Pacific Division... The Wojtek Wolski trade paid immediate dividends for the Florida Panthers, who defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in a shootout Saturday. Only hours after joining his new team, Wolski scored the game-tying goal -- his first of the season -- with just over a minute to go in the game:
Marcus Johansson and Keith Aucoin had a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals doubled up on the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2. Johansson's goal came less than a minute in and it was probably stoppable... Patrice Bergeron had 2 goals, 1 assist, and a whopping 9 shots on goal as the Boston Bruins topped the Ottawa Senators, 5-3. Center Carter Camper scored his first career goal for Boston. Daniel Alfredsson scored twice late, and Erik Karlsson had a 3-point night... Shea Weber scored twice as the Nashville Predators beat up on the San Jose Sharks, 6-2... Scott Hartnell tied the game twice in the third period before Matt Read gave the Philadelphia Flyers the 5-4 shootout win over the Calgary Flames.
Did you know? Evgeni Malkin has 3 hat tricks this season on his own. The only teams with 3 hat tricks are the Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Dishonorable mention: Kyle Turris will likely be getting a call from the Department of Player Safety after his headshot on Joe Corvo... Corey Crawford was pulled after allowing 4 goals on 10 shots for the Blackhawks, who are 0 for their last 39 powerplay opportunities... Antti Niemi was pulled after 3 goals on 7 shots... but the goaltender who got it worst was James Reimer, who allowed two goals in the first four minutes of the game, leading Ron Wilson to say a few words.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney