NHL Three Stars: Pittsburgh punches ticket; Senators get big win over Boston

No. 1 Star: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Tonight we saw the Alex Ovechkin that we’re used to. He scored his 29 goal of the season (on the power play, naturally), and added two more assists to his point total. He also had 11 shots on goal. The Capitals went on to break the 11 game win streak of Calgary Flames goaltender Brian Elliott by a score of 4-2.

No. 2 Star: Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators

The Senators needed this win very badly, coming into the game on a four game losing streak, and the opponent, the Boston Bruins, only four points behind them in the Atlantic. The Bruins and Sens traded goals. Turris scored his first of the game on the power play in the second period to give Ottawa the lead. Torey Krug tied it 17-seconds into the third. Turris followed it up a few minutes later with what would be the 3-2 game winning goal.

No. 3 Star: Ryan Miller, Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks had two two-goal leads on the Chicago Blackhawks and managed to squander them each time. Miller stuck it out with a 40-44 save performance. His team did him no favors in front of him, including when Ryan Hartman scored the game-tying goal with 1:03 in the third. The Canucks went on to win in OT.

Honorable Mention: Jimmy Howard made 35 saves as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Montreal Canadiens in overtime. Anthony Manta had seven shots on goal. His most impressive came in OT as he was breakin’ ankles for the game winner with 50 seconds left … The Senators now have a six-point lead over the Bruins with a game in hand. Craig Anderson was 34-36 against Boston. Torey Krug goes end-to-end for his seventh goal of the season while Bruins are on the power play:

 … Sidney Crosby had a pretty good night, even if he ended up without some teeth afterward. Crosby scored his 41st goal, leading Brad Marchand by four, and is one point shy of tying Connor McDavid at 82 points. The Pittsburgh Penguins punched their ticket to the post season with the 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres … John Quenneville, nephew of Joel, scored his first NHL tally on the power play. He later assisted on Joseph Blandisi’s game winning goal in overtime with 55-seconds to go against the New York Rangers … The Capitals are now 34-1-1 when they have the lead after the first period. T.J. Oshie hit the 30 goal plateau for the first time in his career. Niklas Backstrom collected three assists against Calgary to give him 57 total … The Arizona Coyotes dealt a blow to the playoff hopes of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Max Domi, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Connor Murphy led the Coyotes with two points each. Louis Domingue made 36 of 39 saves. Nikita Kucherov picked up his 34 goal plus an assist for 73 points total … Well this was odd. The Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks combined for four goals in under two minutes:

Minnesota snapped a five game losing streak by beating the Sharks, 3-2 … Jeff Skinner’s two goal propelled the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. In net for Florida was Reto Berra, playing his first game in nearly 15 months. He made 21 saves … The Winnipeg Jets helped play playoff spoiler for the Philadelphia Flyers beating them, 3-2. Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele netted a goal and two assists each … The Vancouver Canucks chased Corey Crawford after they scored four goals on 10 shots:

Daniel Sedin scored the game winning goal in OT. Daniel, Henrik Sedin and Brandon Sutter led the Canucks with two points each. Ryan Hartman had two goals for Chicago … Patrik Berglund’s two goal performance gave the St. Louis Blues a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Jake Allen earned his 28 win of the season.

Did You Know? Per Sportsnet Stats: In Craig Anderson’s last nine games he’s 7-1-1, 2.09 GAA, and .930 save-percentage.

Dishonorable Mention: Rasmus Ristolainen was given a five minute major, a misconduct and tossed from the game in the first period after viciously hitting Jake Guentzel. After the game, Mike Sullivan confirmed Guentzel has a concussion. Conor Sheary got credit for this own-goal by Zemgus Girgensons to ice the game at 3-1 for the Pittsburgh Penguins … Of the 40 penalty minutes between the Rangers and Devils, 27 of which came in the final 17-seconds of the second period. Here’s why: