No. 1 Star: Rick Nash, New York Rangers
There was a good indication it was going to be a long night for the Washington Capitals when the Rangers scored their first goal 1:10 into the game. Rick Nash effortlessly picked off the puck from Nicklas Backstrom, drove toward the net all alone and flipped a backhand past Philipp (Mac)Grubauer.
Nash scored an additional goal in the first period, a 5-on-3 power play goal, that dribbled past the goalie. The Rangers ended up winning the game 4-1.
No. 2 Star: Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Despite being on the losing side of the 3-2 (SO) loss to Chicago, Marchand had a pretty good day at the rink. The second coming of Satan the little ball of hate, scored his first goal to tie the game on a perfect pass from Patrice Bergeron. His second goal gave Boston the lead; Reilly Smith spotted Marchand all alone at the top of the neutral zone and sent a diagonal stretch pass Marchand’s way for the breakaway goal.
Marchand also scored the only shoot-out goal for the Bruins.
No. 3 Star: Mark Barberio, Tampa Bay Lightning
Congrats to Barberio for scoring his (non-consecutive) first and second NHL goals. Barberio’s first goal came on the power play and it opened up the floodgates for the Lightning’s offense. Tampa Bay held a 4-0 lead over the Carolina Hurricanes in the second before the ‘Canes made a run for the comeback. It was starting to look like deja vu all over again, see yesterday’s Tampa Bay game against the Sharks.
Barberio’s second goal, the fifth for Tampa, padded the lead enough for the Lightning to win 5-3.
Honorable mention: Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop stopped 48-of-51 shots by the Hurricanes; save percentage of 0.941 … It took 10 different games, but Chicago’s Patrick Kane finally scored his first shoot-out goal of the season … Marian Hossa makes a great defensive play and then scores a goal. I believe that’s called ‘beast-mode’…
Trade value for Dan Girardi went up; the d-man had a two-point night along with four hits, four blocked shots, and was a plus-3 against Washington … Alex Ovechkin. One-timer. Power play goal …
Did you know? Hurricane Manny Malhotra played in his 900th NHL game on Sunday. Considering what he’s been through in the last few years with a terrible eye injury, it’s pretty amazing he’s kept going.
Dishonorable mention: Giving up three goals on seven shots, Carolina goalie Justin Peters was pulled from the game … Carolina’s defense pairing of Andrej Sekera and (Team USA’s) Justin Faulk both minus-4 … Blackhawk Jonathan Toews received a 10 minute misconduct for flinging a broken stick backwards and it landed in the stands … Afte giving up three goals on eight shots, Caps goalie Philipp (Mac)Grubauer was pulled for Braden Holtby … Washington’s Martin Erat is not helping his image; he’s pretty much affirmed he’s a dick and decides to spear New York’s Brian Boyle in, well, you know (s/t RMNB) …
Follow Jen Neale on Twitter @MsJenNeale_PD