NHL Three Stars: Smith shuts down Ducks; Caps snap losing streak; Hurricanes win AGAIN!

No. 1 Star: Mike Smith, Arizona Coyotes

The netminder gave up 2 goals in the first 8:49 and then shut the door on the Ducks. Smith made 37 saves and stopped 2 of 3 Anaheim players in the shoot-out.

No. 2 Star: Matt Niskanen, Washington Capitals

With the Caps down 2-1 to Chicago in the second, the defenseman provided the primary assists on the game-tying goal by Marcus Johanssen and the game-winning goal by Joel Ward, all within 42-seconds. The win snaps a five-game losing streak.

No. 3 Star: Elias Lindholm, Carolina Hurricanes

Despite having two goals called off by the officials earlier in the game, the ‘Canes managed a win in overtime on the power play. On a semi-spin/semi-behind the back pass, Eric Staal feeds the puck to a wide open Lindholm who beats Columbus’s Curtis McElhinney.


Honorable Mention: After going win-less in their first 8 games of the season, the Hurricanes have won four-straight … Andre Burakovsky started the scoring for the Capitals with this wicked snipe on Corey Crawford …

… Brayden Holtby made 38 saves in Washington’s comeback win … After missing the first 11 games of the season, Boone Jenner provided the primary assist on both goals by Scott Hartnell in the Jackets loss … Niklas Kronwall had a goal and an assist in the Red Wings 4-2 win over New Jersey … The Oilers were THIIIIS close to becoming resident basement dwellers in the NHL if Boyd Gordon didn’t score the game winner off a terrible turnover with less than five minutes to go …

… Congrats to Edmonton’s Viktor Fasth on his first win of the season, and rookie Iiro Pakarinen on his first goal … Matt Moulson finally got off the schnide scoring his first goal of the season a mere 15 games in.

Did You Know? Shane Doan tied the game for Arizona in the second period. With that goal, he jumps Brett Hull for the most tallies against the Ducks at 33.

Dishonorable Mention: Cory Schneider was pulled after giving up 4 goals on 24 shots … Pavel Datsyuk did not play after tweaking something during practice … Cam Fowler left the game in the third period and did not return (lower-body injury) after making this hit

… Corey Perry sat out a second straight game for Anaheim with the flu … Eric Fehr and Evgeny Kuznetsov were healthy scratched for the Capitals … Alex Ovechkin was given an illegal check to the head penalty for this hit on Niklas Hjalmarsson. Legal or illegal? You be the judge

… Columbus went to overtime for the first time this season, and lost to Carolina. This brings the losing streak for the Jackets up to seven games.