No. 1 star, Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks:
The only goalie designated as captain in the NHL displayed his leadership Thursday night. He didn't have a heavy workload, but Luongo was perfect nonetheless by making 20 saves and leading the Canucks over the Kings and past the idle Flames into the lead of the Northwest Division. Luongo's eighth shutout of the season actually featured him having to stop one fewer shot than he faced in the first period alone during a 4-1 victory over Calgary on Tuesday in which he had 46 saves in all. Forty-six is also the number of shutouts Luongo has in his career.
No. 2 star, Mark Recchi, Boston Bruins:
The veteran winger, who came aboard after a trade-deadline deal, kept the Bruins in the hunt for a possible Presidents' Trophy by scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to cap a four-point night against Boston's bitter rivals, Montreal. Recchi scored on the power play 5:30 into the second period for a 3-1 lead. He provided assists on Boston's first and fourth goals, the second of which tied it 4-4 to send the game into sudden death. Recchi ended it with his 22nd goal of the season at 2:42 of OT.
No. 3 star, Jason Arnott, Nashville Predators:
The Nashville captain capped a must-win night for his Predators by scoring the winning goal in the shootout after collecting two points in regulation. Arnott scored unassisted at 13:18 of the third period to pull the visitors within one goal, and assisted Nashville's tying goal with just one minute remaining in regulation. Arnott had five shots and 24:18 of ice time.
Honorable mention: Jason Pominville scored two goals for Buffalo, which got eliminated despite its win. … Brooks Laich scored two goals as the Capitals sewed up second place in the East. … Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding for the Rangers, making 37 saves in a playoff-clinching win over the Flyers. … Washington goalie Jose Theodore appeared in his 500th career game. … David Booth scored a game-winning goal, but the Panthers were shut out of the playoffs yet again. … Mike Ribeiro put on a show by skating in backward and scoring a circus shootout winner for Dallas. … Matt D'Agostini scored two goals for the Canadiens. … The Coyotes blocked 31 shots against a San Jose team that still managed to get 41 on net. And rookie Al Montoya was up to the task, stopping 40 of those Shark attempts. … Don Koharski wrapped up 32 years of officiating with his last game on Thursday.
Did you know?: Doesn't it just figure? Two players share the Canucks' scoring lead with 81 points apiece – and they're identical twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
Dishonorable mention: Don't mean to always pick on the Tampa Bay Lightning, but they have lost eight in a row overall and their last 11 against division-rival Washington. … The Islanders have been outscored 15-1 in their last two games to cinch the league's worst record. ... The Sharks had a chance to win the Presidents' Trophy on home ice where they had lost only four times in regulation this season, but lost to youthful Phoenix.