NHL Three Stars: Bernier gets a win; Capitals lose Backstrom, Beagle to injury

No. 1 Star: Jonathan Bernier, Toronto Maple Leafs

It’s been a rough season for Bernier, so any small win for him could be big in the long run. Against the Pittsburgh Penguins he allowed only 2 goals on 41 shots in addition to stopping 2 of 3 shooters in the shootout. 

No. 2 Star: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Ovi was feeling it against the Buffalo Sabres. He potted 2 goals and was credited with 10 shots on goal. Of his 6 hits, one of them crushed Tyler Ennis, ending his night:

No. 3 Star: Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

Schneider picked up his third shutout of the season with help from 2 goals from Cammalleri and an empty netter from Lee Stempniak. Ottawa sent 36 shots Schneider’s way in the 3-0 win.

Honorable Mention: With the exception of the shootout, Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Matthew Murray (WHO? Exactly.) had an equally impressive game for his team making 34 saves:

… Jack Eichel assisted on both Sabres goals in the 5-2 loss to the Caps. Washington scored 4 goals in the third period … Erik Karlsson played an unholy 33:13 TOI and had 6 shots in the loss … The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers scored one goal each in the first two periods then the flood gates opened for the Rangers with 3 goals in the third, 2 of which were empty-netters. Both Lightning goals came on the power play with assists from Nikita Kucherov. Dominic Moore was credited with the game winner sneaking the puck by Ben Bishop’s foot:

… Logan Couture returned to the San Jose Sharks lineup and had 2 points in the Sharks 4-2 win. San Jose’s power play was 3 for 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers. The biggest bright spot for Philly was this goal by Claude Giroux from the face-off dot:

Did You Know? The win streak for the Capitals extends to 9 games.

Dishonorable Mention: Kris Letang returned to the lineup for the Penguins. He was sent off the ice – by the officials – after this hit from Leo Komarov. Despite his history with concussions, Letang returned to complete the game:

… Matt Moulson earned his first healthy scratch of the season. The Capitals lost Nicklas Backstrom and Jay Beagle to injury. Beagle, upper-body injury, will require surgery … Kevin Hayes was healthy-scratched by Alain Vigneault … Chris VandeVelde took a punishing hit from Brent Burns and needed help getting off the ice. Not sure which was worse, the impact with Burns or the impact with the ice: