NHL Three Stars: Homecoming king Jack Eichel; Backes wins 9 round shoot-out

No. 1 Star: Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres

It was the Boston homecoming for the Massachusetts native and he did not disappoint all his friends and family in attendance. Eichel posted 2 goals and 2 assists in the Sabres comeback victory.

No. 2 Star: David Backes, St. Louis Blues

Backes was 0-fer on the season in shoot-outs so naturally he wasn’t coach Ken Hitchcock’s first pick to go in against Dallas. Nor was he his second, or third, or fourth, and so on. Only once the shoot-out against Dallas entered its ninth round did the captain take to the ice and end the skills contest once and for all.

No. 3 Star: Jannik Hansen, Vancouver Canucks

Hansen scored both goals for the Canucks in their 2-1 OT win over Edmonton. The second of his two goals was probably the most impressive considering he left the ice earlier after going forehead first into the crossbar. Possible brain injury will not stop him from scoring an overtime goal – HE’S A HOCKEY PLAYER!

Honorable Mention: After going down 3-1 to the Bruins, Buffalo scored 5 straight goals to win the game 6-3 … Tampa scored 3 of their 5 goals on the power play. Steven Stamkos figured in all three, netting 2 and assisting on the other … Braden Holtby improved to 22-4-1 on the season with 29 saves in Washington’s 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens … Justin Faulk and Joakim Nordstrom had a goal and an an assist each for the Carolina Hurricanes to beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1 … Easily the best moment of the Stars-Blues game came in overtime, as Kevin Shattenkirk made the save of the game. Jake Allen owes him dinner for the rest of the year:

… Brendan Smith picked up 2 points in the Red Wings 3-2 defeat of the Nashville Predators. Filip Forsberg scored both Nashville goals … Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang returned to the lineup for Pittsburgh and had 2 points each. Someone named Matthew Murray earned the 3-1 win for the Penguins against the Wild … Five of the seven goals in the Kings-Coyotes game came on the power play. The Coyotes scored two goals in 30 seconds to tie the game at 3-3 in the third period. Arizona’s happiness is short lived thanks to Anze Kopitar doing what he does a mere 36-seconds into overtime:

Did You Know? Things have gone from bad to worse in Montreal. The Habs slipped out of first place in the Atlantic Division on their sixth straight loss.

Dishonorable Mention: Scott Hartnell received a game misconduct for his contact with goaltender Ben Bishop. Columbus’s starting netminder Joonas Korpisalo lasted two periods giving up 4 goals on 18 shots … Torey Krug was injured during the first period and did not return to the game. His status is unknown at this time … Kris Letang took a high hit to the head from Jarrett Stoll. Letang left the ice for part of the period and returned when he maybe shouldn’t have given his history of concussions:


… Boyd Gordon did not return to the game after taking a butt-check to the head courtesy of Jake Muzzin. Muzzin received a match penalty on the play. Potentially terrible news for the Kings as Jeff Carter was injured in the first period and did not return to the game. The upper-body injury is bad enough where he will not continue on the road trip with LA … Cam Talbot was dazed and confused after his head swung violently into the post. He stayed in the game. Good thing the league has those (toothless) concussion spotters: