NHL Three Stars: Habs finally win; Karlsson kills penalties; Marchand’s OT penalty shot


No. 1 Star: Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks

In a big Central Division matchup against the Dallas Stars, the Blackhawks came away with a convincing 5-1 win; increasing their lead over the Stars to five points. Anisimov assisted on 3 tallies and scored his 18 goal of the season while the Blackhawks were shorthanded.

No. 2 Star: Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens desperately needed a win and they finally got one at the expense of the Edmonton Oilers. Plekanec scored a goal and had 3 assists in the Habs 5-1 trouncing of the Oil. It is their first regulation win in exactly a month.

No. 3 Star: Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

The offensive-minded defenseman provided 4 assists in the Senators 6-1 beatdown of the Toronto Maple Leafs. What had everyone freaking out was the fact Karlsson logged 3:19 on the penalty kill. 

Honorable Mention: Paul Carey earned his first NHL goal when he tied the game for the Washington Capitals with less than six minutes to go. The Caps took the New Jersey Devils to the shootout. Braden Holtby stopped 2 of 3 Devils shooters and picks up win No. 32 on the season. Ovechkin SMASH:

… Keith Yandle scored with 12.9 seconds left on the clock to tie the Philadelphia Flyers at 2-2. Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan both scored in the shootout and Henrik Lunqvist stopped Sam Gagner and Claude Giroux. HALLELUJAH! 


… Connor McDavid is a magical unicorn. Ben Scrivens earned his first win as a member of the Canadiens, making 23 saves on the Oilers. The lone Edmonton goal was a shorty by Benoit Pouliot … Detroit scored 5 unanswered goals before John Tavares netted at power play goal just over four minutes into the third period. The Red Wings won 5-1 Dylan Larkin tied Artemi Panarin for the rookie goal scoring lead with his 18 of the season.  


… Brad Marchand is hated by pretty much everyone in the NHL outside of Boston. Add the Buffalo Sabres to the list, again. In overtime, Marchand draws a penalty and is somehow given a penalty shot. He buries it to win the game. From Stanley Cup of Chowder:

… Congrats to Ryan Dzingel on his first NHL point. Mark Stone, Zack Smith, and Curtis Lazar each registered 2 points for the Senators. Stone escaped the game with his nose still attached to his face after Joffrey Lupul’s skate makes contact with it:


… Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang connected on all 3 goals by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 3-2 comeback overtime victory against the Florida Panthers. Sid picked up career points 900, 901, and 902 in the win. Florida had no problems scoring on special teams: one power play goal by Jussi Jokinen and one shorthanded goal by Aleksander Barkov … Brian Elliott allowed only 1 goal on 39 shots by the Minnesota Wild; 24 of Minnesota’s shots were in the second period. All but one of the St. Louis Blues goals came on the power play in the 4-2 win … Filip Forsberg had a goal and 2 assists in the Nashville Predators 6-2 stomping of the San Jose Sharks. Both of San Jose’s goals were on the power play. One of Viktor Arvidsson’s two goals was a perfect snipe over the shoulder of Martin Jones as the forward is falling to the ice: 


… Corey Crawford staying on Holtby’s heels in the win total. The netminder earned his 31 win on the year with 36 saves against Dallas … The Calgary Flames scored 4 goals against the Vancouver Canucks; 2 were in an empty net. Jonas Hiller improved to 6-5-1 on the season making 34 saves. T.J. Brodie, Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik, and Sam Bennett each had 2 points and were a plus-3. Brodie logged the most ice time for the Flames at 27:29. The next closest as Mark Giordano with 22:49 … Drew Stafford scored 2 goals and assisted on Mathieu Perreault’s tally for the Jets in the 4-2 win over Colorado.

Did You Know?


Dishonorable Mention: Ryan McDonagh and Wayne Simmonds left the game at the same time. McDonagh with an injury and Simmonds on a match penalty for injuring McDonagh. The Flyers had 20 shots in the second period (good!) and 1 shot on goal in the third period and overtime combined (bad!) … Jaroslav Halak was pulled after giving up 4 goals on 13 shots midway through the game. Puck drop for the third period between the Islanders and Red Wings was delayed by 36 minutes due to a deep gash dug into the ice by the Zamboni … James Reimer was given the hook only 7:38 into the game against Ottawa. He allowed 3 goals on 8 shots, and his replacement, Jonathan Bernier let in 3 goals on 17 shots. Despite protests, Tyler Bozak went back to the locker room and did not return with a concussion after his head made contact with Mika Zibanejad’s elbow:

It gets better. Then Shawn Mattias gets knocked loopy by his own teammate. He leaves to the dressing room but returns to finish the game.

… Thomas Vanek and Jason Zucker were healthy scratched by Mike Yeo to send a message to his team. It didn’t work. Minnesota had 7 power play opportunities and only scored on one .. Antti Niemi played only one period for the Stars, letting in 3 goals on 11 shots. Kari Lehtonen replaced him and faced 15 shots, allowing 2 goals. The Stars once potent power play was 0-for-6 against Chicago … Patrick Roy lost his mind after losing a coach’s challenge and it is glorious. The Colorado Avalanche and WInnipeg Jets combined for 68 penalty minutes in the game.