Saturday's Three Stars: Nabokov blanks Pens in rout

No. 1 Star: Evgeni Nabokov(notes), San Jose Sharks

The Sharks netminder was solid against the defending champions making 27 saves for his 49th career NHL shutout during a 5-0 San Jose victory. After facing just three shots in the first period, the Penguins tested Nabokov with 24 shots in the final two periods. Having taken a 4-0 lead early in the second period, Nabokov fought off a desperate Penguins team trying to break the shutout.

No. 2 star: Antero Niittymaki(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning

Another game, another solid effort by Niittymaki. His 36 saves silenced the Montreal crowd as the Lightning ended a four-game road trip with a 3-1 win. Niittymaki has now won two of his last three starts and lowered his goals-against average to 1.90 and improved his league-best save-percentage to .940.

No. 3 star: Mike Knuble(notes), Washington Capitals

No Alex Ovechkin(notes) or Mike Green(notes) didn't stop the Capitals offense from exploding for seven goals in a victory over the Florida Panthers with the 37-year old Knuble popping in two goals and adding two assists. Knuble's multi-goal game was the seventh time a Washington player has reached the feat so far this season.

Honorable mention: Behind Dan Ellis'(notes) 27 saves and Cody Franson's(notes) second goal in the NHL, Nashville downed Los Angeles 3-1 ... Flyers rookie Mika Pyorala(notes) may not have scored his first goal of his young NHL career, but his tally in the shootout was enough to give Philadelphia a 2-1 win over St. Louis ... Jonas Gustavsson(notes) came up big in his third straight start by stopping 35 shots while Phil Kessel(notes) added his first goal in a Toronto jersey along with an assist as the Maple Leafs routed the Detroit Red Wings ... Along with Knuble's pair, Tomas Fleischmann(notes) fourth and fifth goals of the season ... Nigel Dawes(notes) had a hand in all three Calgary goals as the Flames upended the Rangers 3-1 ... In his first game since early October, Joe Pavelski(notes) potted his first goal of the season during San Jose's win over Pittsburgh ... Miikka Kiprusoff's(notes) 32 saves paced Calgary pasted the Rangers ... Despite two goals by Loui Eriksson(notes), Marek Zidlicky's(notes) goal near the end of the second period was the eventual game-winner as Minnesota got by Dallas 3-2 ... New Jersey extended their league-best road record to 8-0-0 ... Milestones on the night: Tim Connolly(notes) and Francois Bouillon playing in their 500th NHL games while Henrik Tallinder(notes) appeared in his 400th. Capitals rookie Mathieu Perreault(notes) scored his first career NHL goal.

Did you know?: Craig Conroy(notes) is the only Calgary Flames forward without a goal through the team's first 15 games. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth(notes) didn't have a memory NHL debut allowing a goal on the first shot he saw and losing to Boston 4-2 ... Powerless power-play's tonight included Buffalo (0-for-7) and Detroit (0-for-5) ... Carolina extended their power-play drought to 0-for-30, while the Penguins are now 0-for-21 in their last four games ... Ottawa penalty-kill could have used an extra hand allowing all three goals on the in a 3-2 loss to New Jersey ... Finally, the struggling Carolina Hurricanes took another blow tonight when they lost goaltender Cam Ward(notes) after his thigh was lacerated by Rick Nash's(notes) skate:

What to Read Next