Sunday's Three Stars: 'Buff' is the stuff; Wings beat Jackets again

No. 1 Star: Dustin Byfuglien(notes), Atlanta Thrashers

Looks like Byfuglien is taking the switch back to the blue line quite well since the Chicago Blackhawks traded him away over the summer. Having scored a career high 36 points in his first full season with the Blackhawks in 2007-08, Byfuglien is quickly approaching the mark through 24 games with the Thrashers. With a goal and three assists during a 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins, Byfuglien is up to 24 points on the season and leads the NHL with five game-winning goals. Ondrej Pavelec(notes) made 40 saves for his and Atlanta's fifth straight win.

No. 2 Star: Eric Staal(notes), Carolina Hurricanes

Despite Carolina losing to the Washington Capitals in a shootout, the Hurricanes' captain did all he could to get the two points for his team. Coming right off the bench during a line change, Staal drove the puck to the Washington net before leaving a pass in front for Erik Cole(notes) to cut the Capitals lead to 2-1. Staal would later ensure at least a point for Carolina by winning a faceoff in the Capitals zone and then putting home a rebound with 2.3 seconds to force overtime.

No. 3 Star: Jimmy Howard(notes), Detroit Red Wings

Howard made 27 saves and won for the third time in four starts as the Red Wings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 to sweep the home-and-home series. Valtteri Filppulla scored 52 seconds into the third period to give Detroit a 3-1 lead and Danny Cleary(notes) added some insurance via an empty net with just under a minute remaining in overtime.

Honorable mention: Semyon Varlamov(notes) made 26 saves for his third straight victory ... Cam Ward(notes) made 38 stops in the loss ... Alex Semin scored his 18th goal to tie Sidney Crosby(notes) for second in the NHL ... Washington improved to 3-0 against Carolina this season ... Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice was behind the bench for his 1,000th NHL game ... Detroit's penalty killers stood tall during a two-minute five-on-three situation in the third period and the Red Wings up two goals ... Finally, Evander Kane(notes) continued to move up the cruiseweight ranks with this victory over Matt Hunwick(notes):

Did you know? The Bruins had their 10-game winning streak over Atlanta snapped in the loss.

Dishonorable mention: Tuukka Rask(notes) allowed four goals on 26 shots to fall to 1-6-1 on the season ... The Blue Jackets finished 27-for-67 in the faceoff circle.

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