The Rangers celebrate the slaying of Anton Khudobin.
No. 1 Star: Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers
What a debut for Funny Bob, who stopped all 25 saves he faced to give the Florida crowd something they hadn't seen in two years: a shutout. The Panthers skated to a 2-0 win on goals from Jesse Winchester and Dmitry Kulikov.
No. 2 Star: Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings
Franzen led the way for the Wings in a 7-4 rout of the New Jersey Devils, with 2 goals and 2 assists. The Wings had to like what they saw out of their new-look line of Franzen, Gustav Nyquist, and David Legwand. Nyquist had a goal and three assist, and Legwand had 1 and 2. Here's Legwand's first as a Wing:
No. 3 Star: Joe Colborne, Calgary Flames
Colborne started and finished a massive third-period comeback for the Flames in their 4-2 win over the New York Islanders. Down 3-1 going into the final frame, he scored at 11:29, then, after Sean Monahan's 19th tied things up, Colborne finished the job with his second at 15.41.
Honorable mention: Rick Nash and Derek Stepan had two-point nights at the Rangers beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-2. Here's Stepan's game-winner, on a pass from Martin St. Louis:
Brandon Sutter scored the shootout winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2... Not much went right for the Devils, but this Jagr goal is lovely:
Did You Know? Cory Schneider was in net for all seven goals in the Devils' loss. It was the first time in his career he'd surrendered more than five.
Dishonorable mention: Buffalo was outshot 44-25, so their new goalie, Michael Neuvirth, didn't really get much of a chance to match Luongo's early success... What an implosion by the Islanders. From leading by two to down by one in just over five minutes in the back half of the third.
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: "Ryan Miller #39 of the St. Louis Blues eyes the puck over his head at Bridgestone Arena on March 6, 2014."
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Preview: New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET
Preview: New Jersey Devils at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. ET
Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. ET
Preview: New York Islanders at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. ET
Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m. ET
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Five things to know about tonight's NHL games ...
1) Prodigal Lu. Roberto Luongo starts for the Panthers, something we haven't said since late 2006. It's about the only reason to watch Florida and Buffalo, two of the league's worst teams, at this point in the season.
2) Pittsburgh and Anaheim. It's a battle of division leaders -- and members of the bird family -- as the Penguins and Ducks go at it in Anaheim, but neither of these teams is really in the mood to preen right now. Anaheim is 4-5-1 in their last 10 home games. And the Penguins have surrendered 11 goals in the first three games of a five game road trip.
3) Calgary holds the fort. The Flames aren't very good, but they're pretty good at home right now. They've won 6 of their last 7 in Cowtown, and with the struggling Islanders paying them a visit Friday, they've got a good chance of making it 7 of 8.
4) Ruutu debuts for Devils. The Devils were looking to add a little grit to their top-nine and they grabbed Tuomo Ruutu from Carolina at the deadline. He makes his first appearance for New Jersey in Detroit.
5) St. Louis seeks first Rangers' win. The diminutive scorer looked like the only Ranger interested in winning his debut, so here's hoping they all join him his second time out. Maybe they can take inspiration from the addition of Raphael Diaz, who plays his first game as a Ranger?
Bold prediction: Pittsburgh gets crushed by the Ducks.
Brother Louie stopped 25 shots and the Cats scored two, count 'em, two power-play goals to whitewash Buffalo.
Now that the deadline madness is done, the Panthers will look to finish out the rest of the season with a full-press youth movement and a new franchise goalie in the crease.
How to completely overhaul your goaltending future - and present - in a matter of hours? Tallon, Inc. has the answers.
Say goodbye to Marcel Goc and Tim Thomas, and give a warm South Florida welcome to Dan Ellis.
After retaining Boyes, reacquiring Lou and dispatching Markstrom, Matthias & Weaver, is there work left to be done for Tallon, Inc.?
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