I don't care what anybody says. Minnesota's thirds rule.
No. 1 Star: Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild
For the second night in a row, the Minnesota Wild were thoroughly outplayed and outshot by a 2-1 margin. But the outcome was better Sunday, as the Wild rode some lucky bounces and some incredible goaltending to a 2-0 victory. In short, it was a classic Minnesota victory. Said Mike Yeo after the game: "It was sort of reminiscent of how we were winning games back when we were winning a lot of games, if you remember that time." Backstrom was the guy giving them the incredible goaltending, stopping all 48 shots in the surprise victory. In other good news for the Wild, the club announced that Kyle Brodziak had signed a three-year contract extension.
No. 2 Star: Derek Roy, Buffalo Sabres
Two nights after being embarrassed to find themselves in last, the Sabres responded. Roy was one of three Sabres to have a 3-point night, scoring 2 goals and adding an assist in a 6-2 rout of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jason Pominville added a goal and 2 assists and Christian Ehrhoff contributed 3 assists. But none of them had a hand in the prettiest scoring play on the night. That award goes to Tyler Ennis, who made a sick little backhand saucer pass to set himself up for a tap-in:
No. 3 Star: Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
Wheeler picked up an assist on all but one of the Jets' goals in their 5-1 rout of the Colorado Avalanche. Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, and Kyle Wellwood all had multi-point outings.
Honourable mention: Chad Rau, recalled to fill in for the suspended Warren Peters, scored the game-winning goal in Minnesota... Duncan Keith had a goal and an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks rallied in the third, scoring three unanswered goals en route to a 3-1 win, their third straight since ending the 9-game losing streak... Speaking of streaks, the Detroit Red Wings continued their historic run, getting consecutive home win no. 23 in a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Joey MacDonald made 31 saves... Just as everyone had hoped, 6'7" Hal Gill played with 5'9" Ryan Ellis... The Canadiens all wore the no. 8 during warmup in tribute to the late Gary Carter, a legendary catcher with baseball's Montreal Expos... Zach Parise and David Clarkson both scored their 22nd goals of the season in the New Jersey Devils' 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. With the win, the Devils jumped into 4th in the Eastern Conference... Teemu Selanne became the oldest player to score 20 goals in 35 years, potting the game-winner in the Anaheim Ducks 2-0 win over the Florida Panthers. The Ducks improved to 4-0-2 on their big road trip. Jonas Hiller made 31 saves for the shutout, although Jose Theodore made the best save of the night with this larcenous stick save:
Colin Wilson scored the game-winner on a goal assisted by Pekka Rinne as the Nashville Predators topped the Dallas Stars, 3-2. Shea Weber scored the Predators' second with less than a second to go in the second. Still with me? ... Rick Nash tied the game late, but Derek Stepan score the overtime winner in the New York Rangers' 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets... The Sedin line was on for the second straight night, as Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Alex Burrows picked up two points apiece in the Vancouver Canucks' 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Fight of the Night: Okay, the actual fight of the night is George Parros's tilt with Krys Barch. But the runner-up is this lengthy bout between Shawn Thornton and Matt Kassian, which Kassian said was the longest of his career.
Did you know? Kris Versteeg was fined $2500 for crosschecking Jeff Halpern in the third period of the Caps-Panthers game.
Dishonourable mention: Kris Letang and Paul Martin were both minus-4 on the night for Pittsburgh... Boston is now 4-6-0 in their last 10 and have been shut out 4 times in February ... Patrick Kaleta was awarded a penalty shot in Buffalo after Chris Kunitz threw his stick at the puck...