NHL Three Stars: Goaltending optional; hats off for Aho, Pacioretty

No. 1 Star: Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes

In the celebration of rookies this season, Aho tends to go by the wayside. Tuesday night he earned his first career hat trick and four points total. It came in the ‘Canes 5-1 drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers.

No. 2 Star: Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

Remember when everyone was complaining about the lack of production by Patches? Yeah, well, after his hat trick tonight he has 24 goals. That’s four goals behind leader Sidney Crosby and tied with three others in second place.

No. 3 Star: Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks

The Sharks assisted on Patrick Marleau’s power play goal, Tomas Hertl’s game winning goal and scored an empty netter as San Jose beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1. Hertl’s goal came with 2:03 to go in the game.

Honorable Mention: Carey Price made 37 saves in the 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Philip Danault and Alexander Radulov assisted on two of Pacioretty’s three goals … The New York Islanders remain undefeated under interim head coach Doug Weight by beating the Washington Capitals, 3-2 … Joonas Korpisalo got the start for the Columbus Blue Jackets against the New York Rangers. The Jackets thumped the Blueshirts, 6-3. Alexander Wennberg picked up 3 points while Zach Werenski, Seth Jones, and Brandon Saad had 2 points each … Jake Allen and the St. Louis Blues struggled again this time against division rival Winnipeg Jets. Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele nets their 23rd goals on the year in the Jets 5-3 win. Snipe of the game goes to Nikolaj Ehlers. There is nothing Allen could do about it:

… Patrik Hornqvist scored two goals in the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators. The Preds out-hit the Pens 47-29 … The New Jersey Devils scored two short-handed goals against the Detroit Red Wings in their 4-3 win. Nick Jensen scored his first NHL goal to bring Detroit within one with less than five minutes to go … Colin Miller might have saved the game in the first period for the Boston Bruins by swiping the puck off the goal line:

Alex Killorn scored 2 goals in Tampa’s 4-3 loss to the Boston Bruins. Victor Hedman assisted on all three Lightning goals … Roberto Luongo earned his 450th career win after the Ottawa Senators botched the final minutes of a 4-4 tie game … Zach Parise scored his first goal in 11 games and Tyler Graovac potted two as the Minnesota Wild beat the Edmonton Oilers, 5-2. With 41 saves, Darcy Kuemper earned his sixth win of the season … The Dallas Stars scored five goals in the first period and went on to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 6-3. One bright spot of the game for the Leafs came from Curtis McElhinney on this stop on a Patrick Eaves breakaway:

… Jakob Silfverberg returned to the Ducks lineup after missing a couple games with a concussion. He scored two goals as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-1. Corey Perry earned his 700th career point after assisting on a Rickard Rakell goal. Nate Thompson made his season debut for Anaheim after tearing his Achilles in the offseason … The Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes were tied at 2-2 when Jake Muzzin scored with 1:49 left on the clock to give the Kings the narrow victory. Anze Kopitar had a 3 point game that included his sixth goal of the season … Patrick Marleau thought he scored his 499th goal. That is until Joel Quenneville decided to challenge it. The goal was overturned. Marleau would get it back, though scoring on the power play a couple minutes later.

Did You Know?

Dishonorable Mention: The Flyers didn’t hit double digit shot totals until 8:21 remained in the THIRD PERIOD … For what it’s worth, Zach Bogosian was a minus-5. Henrik Lundqvist was given the hook after allowing 3 goals on 16 shots … Jake Allen made only 19 saves on 23 shots … Cam Talbot was pulled from the game after giving up 4 goals on 19 shots … In start No. 40 of the year, Frederik Andersen lasted 11:12 with 3 goals against before Mike Babcock gave him the mercy pull … Carl Soderberg played a team-low 7:50. The Avs ran over their own goalie and Rickard Rakell somehow serves the minor.