NHL Three Stars: Habs destroy Avs; Flyers win eighth; Sid hits 20 goal mark

No. 1 Star: Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

The Habs’ captain got off to a very slow start on offense this season. In the past four games, Patches has nine points. The total is helped by his 4 goals and an assist against the Colorado Avalanche in Montreal’s 10-1 thrashing of the team.

No. 2 Star: Brayden Schenn, Philadelphia Flyers

Schenn’s all power play goal hat trick pushed the Flyers to their eighth straight win. Jakub Voracek assisted on all of Schenn’s goals and added an empty-netter to beat Dallas, 4-2.

No. 3 Star: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Crosby scored two goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning for a Penguins’ 4-3 win. He now has 20 goals on the season through only 22 games played. His first goal was essential Crosby; doesn’t quit, even when he’s on his tummy.

Honorable Mention: Devin Shore scored both goals for the Stars … Four different Los Angeles Kings players scored in their 4-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators. Chris Neil played in his 1,000th game; as expected, he had a fight in the game … Congrats to Brendan Perlini for scoring his first NHL goal as the Arizona Coyotes beat the Nashville Predators, 4-1. Mike Smith was outstanding for the ‘Yotes with 44 saves … Frederik Andersen made 32 saves in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ win over the Boston Bruins. Auston Matthews and James van Riemsdyk earned their 12th goal of the season in the game … Montreal erupted for six goals in the first period against Colorado; five of the goals happened in eight minutes.

… Aleksander Barkov and Derek MacKenzie potted a goal and an assist each in the 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Jacob Markstrom saved 38 of 41 against the Florida Panthers … The Columbus Blue Jackets exploded for four goals in the third period to break the 2-2 tie with the New York Islanders. Cam Atkinson, Seth Jones and Jack Johnson had two points each. Sergei Bobrovsky won his 16th game of the season … … Evgeni Malkin scored the other two goals for the Penguins against the Lightning. Both of Geno’s goals were on the power play. Kris Letang and Phil Kessel led the team with three assists each. Jonathan Drouin netted two goals for Tampa. Checkout this aerial pass from Jason Garrison to Drouin for a goal.

… Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk and Dougie Hamilton each had three points in the Calgary Flames 6-2 rout of the Winnipeg Jets. Nikolaj Ehlers snapped a 15 game scoreless drought with a goal against Calgary … San Jose Sharks backup goaltender Aaron Dell made a rare appearance and got the win with 30 saves against the Carolina Hurricanes. Joe Thornton helped jump start the scoring in the contest with a perfect setup to Patrick Marleau just 12 seconds in to the first period.

Did You Know? The last team to have 10 goals scored on them and score 10 goals against another team in one season was the 2005-06 Buffalo Sabres (via @AdamVingan)

Dishonorable Mention: Mark Borowiecki (boarding) and Jamie Oleksiak (illegal check to the head) will have hearings with the Department of Player Safety on Sunday for incidents in their respective games … Sidney Crosby left the game in the first period after colliding awkwardly with the boards. He returned to play the rest of the game. Afterwards Crosby said he had a neck ‘stinger’ and underwent an examination for a concussion.

… Martin Marincin played only 2:34 before leaving the game. He slammed into the end boards tailbone first and whipped his head back upon impact. Tuukka Rask had an off night allowing 3 goals on 19 shots … With the Habs up 10-1, Alexei Emelin unleashed a brutal – yet legal – hip check that flipped Joe Colborne. Jarome Iginla, playing in his 1500th NHL game, took issue with the unnecessary hit. WATCH OUT FOR CAREY PRICE’S BLOCKER!

Colorado pulled starter Calvin Pickard after allowing 3 goals in the first period. Semyon Varlamov finished the period and played all of the second letting in 6 goals on 16 shots. Pickard came back in for the third allowing only one goal … Dylan McIlrath drew in to the Panthers lineup but only played 6:31. He was not injured … P.K. Subban got into his first fight as a member of the Nashville Predators. He took on the larger Lawson Crouse and it, well, wasn’t great for P.K.

… Michael Hutchinson was pulled after two periods making 25-29 saves. Connor Helleybuyck replaced him and let in 2 goals on 6 shots … Marc-Edouard Vlasic left 12 minutes into the first period and did not return. The team said he was being evaluated but were not specific on upper or lower body.