NHL Three Stars: Reimer solid for Leafs; Carolina FINALLY wins a game; injuries galore

No. 1 Star: James Reimer, Toronto Maple Leafs

The netminder made 45 saves against Chicago in Toronto’s 3-2 victory. The Leafs have won 3 straight, and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.

No. 2 Star: Matt Fraser, Boston Bruins

Fraser wasn’t even supposed to be playing tonight. David Krejci was a last minute scratch due to injury, and Fraser took his place in the lineup. In the second period, he scored two goals within 1:28 of each other. The second of the two was a beauty and stood as the game winner for the B’s.

No. 3 Star: Elias Lindholm, Carolina Hurricanes

This is a ‘Bronx cheer’ kind of star. Lindhom scored two goals for the Canes in the first period. Carolina hung on to beat Arizona 3-0 for their first win this season.

Honorable Mention: It was the first ever battle of the Van Riemsdyk brothers in Toronto: James vs. Trevor with the former coming out on top … Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson took a puck to the face and had to leave the ice with a nasty, bloody gash. Of course he came back to start the third period – he’s a hockey player! … Ben Bishop made 35 saves and Ryan Callahan scored a goal (in his first game back after missing 5 with injury) in the Lightning’s 4-3 win over Washington … Speaking of the Caps, Alex Ovechkin broke the longest scoring drought of his career by shooting while falling on the ice which created the rebound for Marcus Johanssen …

… Congrats to Aaron Ekblad for scoring his first career NHL goal on the power play against the Flyers in the Panthers 2-1 win … New Jersey beat Columbus 3-2 with help from Marek Zidlicky’s goal and assist on the man-advantage … Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavalec earned a shut-out stopping all 38 shots on goal in regulation and OT from the Rangers plus 3-of-4 in the shoot-out … He might have been on the losing end, but Mats Zuccarello’s shoot-out goal was awesome …

… Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin notched 3-points each against the lowly Sabres … St. Louis extended their win streak to four games after Brian Elliott made 27 saves and stopped all three Avalanche players in the shoot-out. David Backes returned to the Blues lineup after missing one game with a concussion … Give Tom Sestito an ‘A’ for effort on this epic missed hit right smack into the glass

… Minnesota finally scored their first and second power play goals of the season just a mere 10 games in … Cal Clutterbuck was given credit for 11 hits on the stat sheet – in an away game … Vancouver beat Edmonton on a short-handed goal by Derek Dorsett …

Did You Know? Avs are heating up…

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Dishonorable Mention: Take the stat for what it’s worth, former-Norris trophy winner Erik Karlsson was minus-4 against a depleted Boston squad … Flyers power play went 0-for-6 against Florida … Jason Demers gave Cory Conacher an elbow to the head (and received a penalty for it) in the Sharks 3-1 win over the Islanders. Conacher left the ice for a while and then returned and tried to go after every San Jose player before earning a 10-minute misconduct …

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… Scott Hannan was lost to injury after playing only 3:18 for the Sharks … Rangers lost both Ryan McDonagh (separated shoulder) and Kevin Klein (foot contusion) in the first period … After losing to Pittsburgh 5-0, Buffalo has been shut-out in 5-of-12 games this season … Taylor Hall left the game against Vancouver with a leg injury after crashing high speed into goal post …

… Alexander Semin was a healthy scratch for Carolina in their first win of the season. Trade bait? Well, who wants a $7-million cap hit? … Ales Hemsky played only 7:26 for Dallas before leaving the game with an upper-body injury … Andrew Ference delivered a wicked hit to the head of Zack Kassian, and was penalized for it. Hearing forthcoming? …