No. 1 Star: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Congrats to the teenager MacKinnon for etching is first career hat-trick in his sophomore season. His 3 goals helped propel the Avalanche to a 5-4 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
No. 2 Star: Eddie Lack, Vancouver Canucks
Lack entered the game cold just 58-seconds in to the second period after starter Ryan Miller was injured while in net. Lack faced 27 shots from the New York Islanders and stopped every one of them, leading Vancouver to a 4-0 victory. He didn’t earn the decision, though. Since the Canucks were up 1-0, scoring 30 seconds before the injury, the win goes to Miller. Here’s Lack saving an almost certain Josh Bailey goal:
No. 3 Star: Michael Neuvirth, Buffalo Sabres
He didn’t win the game, but he put up one helluva fight for a team that wasn’t providing much support in front of him. Neuvirth made 37 saves in regulation and OT when his team put up only 17 shots on Carter Hutton. The Predators ended up taking the game 2-1 in the shoot-out.
Honorable Mention: Rob Zepp, in net for the Philadelphia, improves to 5-1-0 on the season in the team’s 3-2 victory over Washington, snapping the Capitals four-game win streak. Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds tallied power play goals for the Flyers. Simmonds PPG was the perfect example of why you keep playing until you hear the whistle …
… Boston has had a rough season. A big game against a big opponent would go a long way to continuing to right the ship, as they hold on to the final wild card spot. The Bruins put up 6 goals on Chicago; 4 of those goals came in the second period. The power play for the B’s went 2-for-4. Patrice Bergeron skated away with 3-points and was 58% on the dot … With less than five minutes left, Nashville’s Mike Ribero tied the game on the power play. It would be newly acquired Mike Santorelli and Filip Forsberg who would win it for the Preds in the shoot-out. With this goal, Santorelli is now 4-for-6 on the season in the shoot-out:
… Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves in the Penguins 5-1 drubbing of the Florida Panthers. Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist each registered 3-point nights with 2 goals and 1 assist each. Paul Martin, Kris Letang, and David Perron were all plus-3 … It did not look good for Columbus after the Rangers went up 3-0 in the beginning of the second period. Either the Jackets turned on the jets or the Blueshirts took their foot off the gas because CBJ scored 3-straight to take the game to OT and then the shoot-out. Curtis McElhinney had no chance on this Rick Nash snipe:
… The Wild continue their season upswing with Devan Dubnyk in net. The goalie improved to 22-7-3 on the season in Minnesota’s 6-2 pummelling of Dallas. It was a perfect way to end Hockey Day in America, with Captain America himself (Zach Parise, not Steve Rogers) netting 2-goals in Minny’s 6-goal third period. Jason Spezza scored both goals for the Stars.
Did You Know?
Elias: @PredsNHL earned 40 wins through 60 GP for 1st time in franchise history; previous best was through 61 games during 2006-07 (40-18-3)
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 23, 2015
Dishonorable Mention: Tuukka Rask got the win for the Bruins, but Tuukka being Tuukka, he was fiery as ever. He earned a penalty for playing the puck just outside the trapezoid, and Jonathan Toews scored 8-seconds after the PP started. Rask was angry, natch, and slammed his stick against the post, accidentally hitting Kris Versteeg in the process. For that, he received another penalty:
In the same game, Corey Crawford was relieved of duty for Chicago after allowing 4 goals on 14 shots about midway through the game. Antti Raanta fared slightly better with 2 goals against on 16 shots … More nervous goaltender related moments in Vancouver as Ryan Miller left the game 58-seconds into the second period. Miller collided with teammate Jannik Hansen; luckily, he was able to skate off under his own power. The Canucks did not have an update of his status after the game. Here’s the video of the injury:
… Lightning rookie goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy faced made 13 saves against the Avs. Despite the team mounting a late near-comeback, Steven Stamkos, Anton Stralman, and Ryan Callahan were held point-less and all a minus-3 … Pittsburgh scored 5-straight goals on Al Montoya and the Panthers before Scottie Upshall finally answered late in the third … James Wisniewski was a healthy scratch for Columbus. Begin the trade rumors! (And the prayers by fans that he’s not traded to their team) … Jhonas Enroth must be having flashbacks of Buffalo, he allowed in 6 goals in the third period, and Lindy Ruff would not remove him from the game.