NHL Three Stars: Darling earns first NHL shut-out; Kesler knocks off Kings in OT

No. 1 Star: Brad Richards, Chicago Blackhawks

Richards, in his first season with the Blackhawks, gave a big old F-YOU to the team that bought him out in the off-season, the New York Rangers. He scores a beautiful, patient goal on Cam Talbot to win the game for Chicago and end New York’s 5-game win streak.

No. 2 Star: Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks

Needing just 45-seconds in the overtime frame, Kesler scores the game winning goal after Hampus Lindholm sets the pick on Drew Doughty.

No. 3 Star: Curtis McElhinney, Columbus Blue Jackets

Getting the start against the Oilers, the Jackets netminder stopped 44 shots in regulation and overtime, and 2 of 3 in the shoot-out.

Honorable Mention: Cam Talbot made 30 saves for the Rangers in the loss. Scott Darling recorded his first ever NHL shut-out with 25 saves. Here’s one of his best of the night on the always dangerous Rick Nash:

… Who knew it would be the addition of Derek Roy to Edmonton’s roster that would reinvigorate Nail Yakupov? Yakupov assisted on Roy’s power play goal to bring the Oil within one of Columbus. Later it was Yakupov again to put Edmonton ahead by one before Mark Letestu tied it up 54 seconds later … The Ducks had scored 2 straight goals in the third period when Justin Williams scored the game tying goal against Anaheim with 4:14 left. Earlier in the game, Dustin Brown did what a lot of the NHL wants to do – lay Corey Perry flat on his, err, tail-feathers:

Did You Know? With a goal against Columbus, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his NHL career.

Dishonorable Mention: Kris Versteeg was a healthy scratch for Chicago. The Rangers had 2 goals disallowed in the game … After Jakob Silfverberg put the Ducks ahead of the Kings, Jonathan Quick slightly berserk. He thinks he should have gotten a call here. What do you think?