No. 1 Star: Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks
The Nashville Predators’ tormentor was at it again, scoring two third-period goals to give the Canucks a 3-1 win. He now has 14 on the year and back-to-back 2-goal games.
No. 2 Star: Kari Lehtonen, Dallas Stars
The Stars goalie turned away 47 of 50 shots on the road, as the Stars won at the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-3. Antoine Roussel scored the game-winner on a penalty shot. Alex Chiasson scored his eighth.
No. 3 Star: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Sid’s unassisted wrist shot beat Anders Nilsson at 3:44 of overtime as the Penguins topped the New York Islanders, 3-2. Crosby now has 15 goals on the season, having previously scored to force OT. Evgeni Malkin had two assists in the win.
Honorable mention: Mike Ribeiro and Mikael Boedker had 3-point nights as the Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 6-2. … Kings rookie Martin Jones, making his first NHL start, stopped all nine shots he faced in the shootout as LA bested their rivals the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2. Dwight King had the game-winner in the skills competition. … Kyle Okposo had two goals for the Isles. … Sergei Bobrovsky made 17 saves before leaving with an injury, but Curtis McElhinney took the Columbus Blue Jackets all the way to the 1-0 shutout over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nick Foligno had the outstanding goal for the Jackets. … Brad Staurt had the game-winner and Logan Couture added he empty netter, as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2. … Jeff Skinner scored twice as the Carolina Hurricanes rolled to a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Justin Peters made 26 saves. … The Ottawa Senators scored four straight goals, including Bobby Ryan’s 14th, as they defeated the Florida Panthers, 4-2.
Did You Know? Phil Kessel scored goal No. 200 in his career, and the 15th goal of the season for the Leafs.
Dishonorable mention: Justin Schultz and Jesse Joensuu were minus-3. … The Lightning have been shut out in back to back games. … Braden Holtby gave up at least three soft goals among his four surrendered before being pulled. … Morgan Reilly was a minus-3. … Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johnansson were minus-3 for the Capitals. … Scottie Upshall was whistled for three minor penalties. … Finally, the Panthers announced a crowd of 10,074 fans, “the lowest home ‘announced’ crowd since Halloween 2008 -- 10,063” according to George Richards, who tweeted this before the game:
Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five things to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.
Create-a-Caption: "Leafs coach Randy Carlyle at practice."
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Preview: San Jose Sharks at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. ET
Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET
Preview: Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m. ET
Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Edmonton Oilers, 9:30 p.m. ET
Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m. ET
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Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...
1,. Sutter Says No Rivalry. Uh, Darryl Sutter doesn’t buy this Ducks vs. Kings thing. “There [has] been zero rivalry. Our guys all skate together in the summer. The rivalry might be a fan rivalry, but there certainly hasn’t been one between the players. We haven’t played ‘em yet, and they’re off to the same start that they had last year.”
2. No Kadri. The Leafs will be without Nazem Kadri against the Sharks, as he left the team due to a death in the family.
3. Malone Missing. The Tampa Bay Times reports that Ryan Malone has a non-displaced ankle fracture and could miss a month for the Lightning.
4. Kulikov Scratched. Dmitry Kulikov was healthy scratched by the Florida Panthers, as coach Peter Horachek stressed accountability for the defenseman.
5. Blackhawks Up. Chicago finished its annual “circus trip” with a 6-1 record and a 23-10 goal differential in those six wins.
Bold Prediction: A Devan Dubnyk shutout. Yup.
My current favorite pizza topping is ham. Sometimes simplicity is best. Other times, throw on more toppings.
Our top forwards are the only skaters scoring goals as of late. What gives?
The Anaheim Ducks might be the luckiest team in the NHL right now as they remain unbeaten in regulation on home ice but ultimately fall to their cross town rival in the shootout 3-2.
The Ducks' secondary scoring that was expected to be so reliable has completely evaporated, and just in time for a string of games against the best teams in the league.
I despise the Los Angeles Kings.
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