No. 1 Star: Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings
Tatar earned his first career NHL hat trick as he led the Red Wings to a 6-4 comeback victory over the Anaheim Ducks.
No. 2 Star: Jason Spezza, Dallas Stars
Spezza didn’t show up on the score sheet for the Stars. In fact, he was a minus-1 against the streaking Philadelphia Flyers. Spezza did something that charged up his teammates and the Dallas faithful – he fought. It was Spezza’s first fight in SEVEN YEARS. He squared off Brandon Manning and managed to not get severely maimed. Dallas went on to score three straight goals and snap the Flyers 10 game win streak.
No. 3 Star: Vinnie Hinostroza, Chicago Blackhawks
A mere 41 seconds into the game, the Blackhawks faced their first one-goal deficit to the Blues. They came back and tied it. This happened three more times until Hinostroza finally put Chicago ahead. Artemi Panarin iced it with an empty netter, 6-4.
Honorable Mention: Rickard Rakell’s two goals brought his season total up to 14 through 21 games played. Anaheim’s power play was 2 for 2. Much to the dismay of Ondrej Kase, Niklas Kronwall is back to form:
… Antti Niemi made 31 saves against Philly. Esa Lindell was a plus-3 … Zach Bogosian drew back into the Buffalo Sabres lineup for the first time since Nov. 1 when he was injured. Lee Stempniak and Sebastian Aho both scored for the Carolina Hurricanes in the shootout to give the ‘Canes the win … Connor McDavid had yet to score a shootout goal in the NHL. Consider that changed as he clinched the win for the Edmonton Oilers over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the skills competition … The Ottawa Senators snapped a three game losing skid by beating the New Jersey Devils, 3-1. Derick Brassard earned his first game-winning goal as a member of the Sens … Darcy Kuemper stopped 27 shots in the Minnesota Wild’s 4-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. He nearly had a shutout if it wasn’t for this impressive flying goal by Brendan Perlini … Jimmy Vesey got the last laugh (see: Dishonorable Mention) over the Nashville crowd as he and Mats Zuccarello both scored on Juuse Saros in the shootout. Feeling no ill effects of being hit by Cody Eakin, Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves through overtime and regulation and stopped both shooters on the way to win No. 14 … Despite his team taking the loss, Kyle Brodziak scored a pretty awesome goal thanks to a broken stick left on the ice:
Artemi Panarin led the Blackhawks with one goal and two assists. Joel Edmundson had three assists for St. Louis … Carey Price earned his 250th career victory with a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals. He is eight away from tying Ken Dryden on the Habs list … The Toronto Maple Leafs actually won in overtime. They beat the Pittsburgh Penguins off all teams. Check out Mitch Marner and Jake Gardiner teaming up for a beautiful goal that beat Marc-Andre Fleury:
Did You Know? Per Elias, the Blackhawks rallied for a win when facing four separate one-goal deficits for just the third time in franchise history (via @ChrisKuc)
Dishonorable Mention: Jonathan Bernier played two periods for the Ducks that saw the team give up three straight goals to Detroit tie the game and go ahead by one. John Gibson came in for the final period stopping 9 of 11 … 11 of Philly’s 15 giveaways came from a player on their defense … Buffalo collected their seventh overtime/shootout loss on the season; tying them with Toronto and Carolina for the most in the NHL … Hell hath no fury like a Nashville Predators fan scorned. They haven’t forgotten about Jimmy Vesey turning his back on them:
Vesey hits the ice to rousing boos and a “Vesey Sucks” chant pic.twitter.com/VXVA72wBPQ
— Kristopher Martel (@kmartel_sports) December 18, 2016
P.K. Subban did not play versus the Rangers due to an upper-body injury … Artem Anisimov played only 4:01 TOI in the first period before leaving with an undisclosed injury. He did not return … Nathan Belieu was given a 10 game misconduct for abuse of an official after saying the magic words to one of the guys in stripes as he left the penalty box … Marc-Andre Fleury took five stitches to the neck after James van Riemsdyk’s skate caught him up high. He was lucky it wasn’t worse.