No. 1 Star: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
For all the reasons we listed earlier, Malkin's 5-point game — including a natural hat trick — in the Penguins' 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning was the performance of the day.
No. 2 Star: Jason Blake, Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks continue their post-"GM says everyone must go!" run with a 4-2 win at the Vancouver Canucks, powered by Blake's 2 goals and 1 assist. After Bobby Ryan scored in the second period to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead, Blake sniped one past Roberto Luongo on a 2-on-1 and then followed that with a third-period dagger on the power play, the third goal of his injury-plagued season.
No. 3 Star: Tomas Vokoun, Washington Capitals
The veteran netminder continues to find his groove under Coach Dale Hunter, stopping 43 shots in the Caps' 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. He made 18 saves in the final period to make Dmitry Orlov's first NHL goal stand as the game-winner.
Honorable mention: Max Pacioretty had two goals and an assist as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Rangers, 4-1. He scored 2:39 into the game and then answered John Mitchell's goal with his own 3:54 into the second period. He later had the primary helper on David Desharnais's clincher in the second. Peter Budaj made 28 saves. … Jonathan Toews and Viktor Stalberg had a goal and an assist and Andrew Shaw had the eventual game-winner in the third period as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the San Jose Sharks, 4-3. Joe Pavelski scored his 17th and Tommy Wingels scored his first NHL goal in the loss. Also, Antti Niemi was strong despite giving up four goals, making 36 saves including this awesome one on Patrick Kane. … Shawn Horcoff's terrific pass on an overtime power play set up Taylor Hall's game-winner, as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 2-1. Josh Green and Justin Williams had the other goals; Devin Dubnyk made 20 saves in the win. … James Neal had two goals for the Penguins, while Matt Gilroy scored his first as a Bolt. ... This Alex Ovechkin hit nearly makes up for his rapping:
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Did you know? "Vancouver forward Jannick Hansen got Gene Simmons to autograph a stick during the pregame warmup. He then exchanged fist bumps with the KISS rocker." (AP)
Fight of the Night: Not the best fight, but any time the creaky bones of Sean O'Donnell are throwing punches, worth a look. His first fight as a Blackhawk came against Brad Winchester:
Dishonorable mention: Not sure if the dishonorable mention is for PK Subban or the fans making a federal case over an alleged spitting incident against Michael Del Zotto. … Wojtek Wolski was a minus-3 for the Rangers. … Neither Dustin Penner nor Ryan Smyth registered a point against their old clubs (neither did Colin Fraser, for that matter). … Did Rene Bourque deliver a head-shot on Carl Hagelin or was this the result of his stumbling?
James Neal and Pavel Kubina earned misconducts in the Penguins/Bolts game, as did Vincent Lecavalier. … Finally, here are the NBC guys talking about Evgeni Malkin's incident with Vincent Lecavalier. Our favorite part is when "good clean hockey player" Lecavalier sucker punches Malkin in the face while the linesmen are trying to separate them: