October 28, 2010
Jumbo Joe began the evening with a minus-9 on the season, but his performance in a 5-2 Sharks win over the hapless New Jersey Devils brought him much closer to the plus side. Thornton had a hat trick and two assists for a plus-4 night that was equal parts lucky (with a fortunate bounce off the boards for a goal, counteracting a goal the Devils received off a similar bounce) and vintage Joe (his pinpoint pass to Dany Heatley(notes) for a layup). Thornton, Heatley and Patrick Marleau(notes) combined for 13 points in the win.
No. 2 Star: Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
Wild game in Tampa Bay, with the Bolts overcoming poor goaltending by Mike Smith(notes) and a Pittsburgh Penguins' lead to win, 5-3. St. Louis was the difference in the third period: Scoring the game-winning goal on a great solo effort against the Pens' defense and then outracing the Penguins again for the empty-netter to ice it.
The Capitals goalie spoiled the Hurricanes' first home game of the season with a 29-save effort to give Washington a 3-0 victory, with a goal by Matt Hendricks(notes) and two from Nicklas Backstrom(notes).
Honorable mention: The Montreal Canadiens got five goals from five different players in their 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders. Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn(notes) both had a goal and an assist; James Wisniewski(notes) of the Islanders had a goal and two assists to tie John-Michael Liles(notes) for the NHL lead in points for defensemen. ... The Chicago Blackhawks got goals from Jake Dowell(notes), Viktor Stahlberg and Patrick Sharp(notes) (his ninth), while Marty Turco(notes) made 15 third-period saves in their 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Turco had 33 stops in the game. ... The Penguins got two shorthanded goals in 1:01 from Craig Adams(notes) and Matt Cooke(notes). ... Dan Ellis(notes) was a perfect 24-for-24 after Smith was pulled. Steven Stamkos(notes) (3 assists) bested Sidney Crosby(notes) (1 assist) ... The New York Rangers made it interesting in the third period with two goals, but the Atlanta Thrashers hung on for an impressive 6-4 victory at MSG. Evander Kane(notes), Niclas Bergfors(notes), Eric Boulton(notes), Dustin Byfuglien(notes) and Andrew Ladd(notes) had goals; but this Bryan Little(notes) effort is one of the best of the young season:
Dishonorable mention: The Devils dropped to 2-7-1 under John MacLean, giving up three first-period goals on the road. Defenseman Matt Corrente earned 29 minutes in penalties for a fight and then for misconducts at the end of the game. ... Mike Smith's three goals on seven shots probably isn't good for the save percentage. ... John Tavares(notes) and Blake Comeau(notes) were both a minus-3 for the Islanders. ... Finally, Blackhawks fans are saying prayers for Marian Hossa(notes), as the star winger left with an "upper body injury" in the second period.