No. 1 Star: Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets
Before the middle of the first period, the Blue Jackets took a 3-0 lead on the Boston Bruins. The Bruins scored three straight goals to tie the game. Both teams were kept even until the Jackets captain came up huge netting what would stand as the game winning goal on power play. Columbus extends their win streak to 13 games.
No. 2 Star: Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild
Minnesota and the Nashville Predators traded goals through the first and second period. They took the 2-2 tie into overtime. Jordan Schroeder flew down the ice with Colin Wilson in tow. Roman Josi looked uncharacteristically befuddled as Schroeder slid a perfect pass cross ice in front of the defender to Spurgeon for the one-timer. The Wild extend their win streak to 12 games.
No. 3 Star: Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
The defenseman led the Sharks with two points against Southern California rival Anaheim Ducks. Burns assisted on Melker Karlsson’s goal to give the Sharks the 2-1 lead. The Ducks came back to force overtime. Somehow the GIGANTIC Burns gets past both Anaheim defenders, gets the puck from Joe Pavelski and dekes past John Gibson.
Honorable Mention: Sergei Bobrovsky made 37 of 40 saves to improve his record to 22-5-2. David Backes and David Krejci had a goal and assist each in the Bruins loss … Devan Dubnyk extended his personal win streak to nine games with 28 saves. Charlie Coyle and Jordan Schroeder had two assists each against Nashville. Pekka Rinne had a strong game for the Preds making 36 of 39 saves … The Anaheim Ducks were 63-percent as a team on the faceoff dot led by Antoine Vermette who won 16 of 21 draws … Sidney Crosby scored his 25th goal of the season and added two assists in the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 win against New Jersey. Evgeni Malkin recorded his 800th NHL point … Andrew Ladd had his best game of the season for the New York Islanders scoring two goals that put the Isles ahead of the Capitals each time. Anders Lee was credited with the 4-3 game winner. Justin Williams and Alex Ovechkin earned a goal and assist each for the Caps. Ovi led the team with nine shots on goal … Nick Holden and Derek Stepan scored two goals each to lead the Rangers to the 4-3 win against the Ottawa Senators. Ryan McDonagh led the scoring for the New York Rangers with 3 assists. Jimmy Vesey finally got his first NHL fight out of the way taking on Mark Stone.
… The Winnipeg Jets won their third game against the Blackhawks by a score of 3-1. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 34 shots in the win. Artem Anisimov returned for the Blackhawks and scored the lone goal … Johnny Gaudreau and Mikael Backlund registered two goals and an assist each in the Calgary Flames 6-3 drubbing of the Colorado Avalanche. Gabriel Landeskog netted two of the Avs three goals … The Dallas Stars scored a short handed goal, power play goal and regular strength goal in the defeat of the Arizona Coyotes. Anthony Duclair gave his stick a smootch after finally scoring his second goal of the season.
— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 28, 2016
… After going two games without a goal, Evander Kane made up for lost time with two goals against the Detroit Red Wings. Robin Lehner made 40 saves in the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 win. Jack Eichel would like you to still remember that he is one helluva hockey player. Petr Mrazek will not give him the top corner again.
Did You Know?
#CBJ w/ sellout crowd of 19,005. It’s team’s 3rd consecutive sellout for first time in nearly a decade. Last time: Jan, 19, 26, 27 of 2007.
— Tom Reed (@treed1919) December 28, 2016
Dishonorable Mention: P.K. Subban was out again for the Preds … Sami Vatanen was a late scratch for Anaheim with an ‘illness’ … The New Jersey Devils power play was 1 for 7 against Pittsburgh. The Penguins defense was without Olli Maata in addition to Trevor Daley and Kris Letang … The Senators went up 2-0 quickly on the Rangers, then 3-1 before the Blue Shirts netted three straight to win … The Avs power play was 0 for 6 … Mike Smith goes B-A-N-A-N-A-S alert.