NHL Three Stars: Okposo scores four; Neal ruins Trotz’s homecoming; Hutchinson stops ‘Hawks

No. 1 Star: Kyle Okposo, New York Islanders

Marc-Andre Fleury already has nightmares about Nassau Coliseum, and Kyle Okposo just made them worse. The Islanders underrated forward scored 4 goals on the Pittsburgh netminder to complete his team’s 6-3 comeback. Even cooler, Okposo netted his first-ever hat trick on the night his mentor, Bryan Trottier, was honored.

No. 2 Star: James Neal, Nashville Predators

After Mattias Ekholm tied it up late on the power play, Neal, having already scored a goal tonight, popped all the balloons at Barry Trotz’s homecoming party on the 4-3 game winner with 1:40 left on the clock.

No. 3 Star: Michael Hutchinson, Winnipeg Jets

The rookie netminder made 31 saves in a raucous 4-2 win over Chicago. Brandon Saad was one of the best Blackhawks on the ice during the game, but he only managed to get one of five shots behind Hutchinson.

Honorable Mention: A moment of silence was held to prior to the Penguins and Islanders game in honor of the late Islander, J.P. Parise. Josh Bailey and John Tavares had 3 assists each for the Isles. Sidney Crosby earned 2 goals, 1 assist in the loss … Alex Ovechkin scored 2 of 3 goals for Washington. Pretty sure they were faster than light, here’s an example, Ovi from a bad angle:

Carter Hutton started for Nashville due to Pekke Rinne’s injury. He made 31 saves in his first win of the season. Although he took the loss, Braden Holtby continued to show the world how he’s a changed goaltender now that he has Mitch Korn in his corner:

… Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Dustin Byfuglien, Blake Wheeler, and Zach Bogosian ended up with 2-points each against Chicago. Congrats to the darling of the Chicago Blackhawks, Teuvo Teravainen, on scoring his first NHL goal. Brandon Saad’s backhand is a thing of beauty:

… Vancouver’s Dan Hamuis was back in the lineup against Carolina after missing 22 games with a groin injury. The Canucks scored 3 goals on 17 shots to win the game. Friday night marked the first time this season Ryan Miller has played in back-to-back games; he earned shut-outs in both. He didn’t appear to be very tired:

… Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves in the Rangers 2-1 victory over Columbus. Derek Steppan assisted on both NYR goals. The first of the two included a gorgeous pass to Chris Krieder for the score:

… For the second game in a row, Anaheim had a goal differential of more than one goal in their 5-1 drubbing of the Jagr-less Devils. Patrick Maroon, Jakob Silfverberg, and Hampus Lindholm each registered 2-points. As for Lindholm, he copied d-partner Francois Beauchemin’s patented open ice hip-check:

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Dishonorable Mention: Steve Downie, back in the lineup after receiving an elbow to the face from Ryan Suter, took a dumb slashing penalty with slightly over 2 minutes to go that resulted in Okposo’s fourth goal of the game … Brooks Orpik was a minus-3 for Washington … Jury is still out on if Dan Carcillo will be fined and/or suspended for a vicious cross-check that ended Mathieu Perreault’s night … Cam Ward allowed 3 goals on 13 shots through the first two periods before being replaced by Anton Khudobin who stopped all 4 shots sent his way … Toronto took a long time to decide if Kevin Klein’s disallowed goal was hit by a high stick as it deflected into the net … New Jersey managed only 15 shots on goal against Anaheim. The Devils registered only one shot in the second period. Cory Schneider, Martin Havlat both left the game with injuries.