NHL Three Stars: Rakell, Kuznetsov two goal night; Russell’s first with Oilers

No. 1 Star: Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks

Rakell had two big goals in the Ducks 5-3 win against the Boston Bruins. His first goal tied the game at 2-2. The second game stood as the game winner. Both goals came on assists from Corey Perry who now has 31 on the season. Yes, Corey Perry.

No. 2 Star: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals

Doesn’t it seem like a long time ago when Kuznetsov was struggling? He’s snapped out of it. Against the Philadelphia Flyers he scored two goals. The first was an absolute rocket in and out of the goal.

No. 3 Star: Kris Russell, Edmonton Oilers

Russell was saving his first goal of the season for a big moment. He earned his first goal, sixth point on this game winning goal facilitated by the speeeeeed of Connor McDavid.

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Bernier got the emergency start for the Ducks after John Gibson came down with a lower-body injury in practice. He made an incredible save that robbed Patrice Bergeron on one of his 7 shots on goal. Frank Vatrano broke loose on a breakaway to score after an incredible pass from David Krejci:

… The Florida Panthers were 2 for 2 on the power play with Keith Yandle and Jonathan Marchessault getting the goals.

… Braden Holtby earned his 30th win of the season as the Caps beat the Flyers, 4-1. Alex Ovechkin, Justin Williams, Nick Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Kuznetsov each picked up two points. Brayden Schenn was the lone goal scorer for the Flyers.

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Dishonorable Mention: The Bruins suffered their first loss under their new head coach … Andrej Sekera took a shot off the hand in the second period. He went to the locker room and returned to play one shift before leaving again.

… The Flyers had not one but two goals overturned. The first was for goaltender interference. The second was a goal that wasn’t. Ivan Provorov hit the crossbar and the goal horn went off. Matt Niskanen left the game after colliding knee-on-knee with Radko Gudas. Barry Trotz doesn’t think it’s too serious and was held out as a precaution.