Puck Daddy - NHL

No. 1 star: Darcy Tucker(notes), Colorado Avalanche

Toronto fans cheered twice Tuesday, once for a video tribute to Tucker, playing in the city for the first time since a contract buyout ended his eight-year stint as a member of the Leafs in 2008, and once for the Francois Beauchemin(notes) goal that briefly gave the home fans hope. Then Tucker spoiled things. Not quite a minute after the Beauchemin goal cut the Avs' advantage to 2-1, Tucker dressed up drew an elbowing call on Toronto's Mike Komisarek(notes). As the Colorado power-play was winding down, Tucker crashed the net and deflected the puck past Joey MacDonald(notes) for his third goal of the season. It was pretty much all boos from there, but for Tucker (goal, assist, plus-1, 3 shots) you have to figure there's no looking back. The win moved the Avs (4-1-1) into first place in the Northwest.

No. 2 star: Thomas Vanek(notes), Buffalo Sabres

For a team having trouble scoring goals, it has to be bittersweet that a welcome six-goal outburst – Buffalo never plays well against Detroit – came at the expense of one of its top scorers. Vanek scored twice in a 6-2 win over the Wings, but was injured burying Buffalo's fourth goal of the second period and early word is that he could miss weeks of action. He had plenty of help on both goals. Vanek's first tally was aided by an aggressive Drew Stafford(notes) rush to the net and Derek Roy(notes) did most of the dirty work on No. 2 after a brutal Niklas Kronwall(notes) turnover in his own zone. Vanek pounded home the rebound, but was tripped up and his collision with the end boards was his final act.

No. 3 star: Rick Nash(notes), Columbus Blue Jackets

Nash has multiple points in four consecutive games after a two-assist outburst in 2:04 of the second period gave Columbus (4-1-0) a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Flames on Tuesday. Nash's feed from behind the net to Kristian Huselius(notes) for the Jackets' second goal was the play of the night from a skill perspective.

Honorable Mention: Ryan Miller(notes) made 23 saves and stopped Valtteri Filppula(notes) on a penalty shot in Buffalo's win. He had a shutout streak snapped just shy of 93 minutes. … Roy had assists on three consecutive Sabres goals in the second period. … Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta(notes) (goal, assist) had his first-career multi-point game. … Craig Anderson(notes) made 30 saves for the Avs to make it road wins on back-to-back nights. Please take a moment to behold the Colton Orr(notes)/David Koci fight that leads the Avs-Leafs highlight reel:

Did You Know?: Though the Sabres came in having scored only four goals in three games, Tuesday's first period against the Red Wings marked the first time this season Buffalo had been outshot in a regulation period (11-8).

Dishonorable Mention: Puck Daddy managed to stifle the giggles long enough to present a thorough rundown of the hysterics in Toronto on Tuesday. Don't forget that Komisarek was also responsible for the penalty that reversed any momentum that the Leafs' lone goal may have generated. … It wasn't quite a meltdown of record proportions, but Calgary coughed up a lead for the second straight night. … Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom(notes) uncharacterstically led all NHL players Tuesday with four giveaways. The Red Wings were guilty of multiple own-zone turnovers.

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