No. 1 Star: Evander Kane, Buffalo Sabres
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, the Sharks had a big lead and lost it. The Sabres came into the third period down to San Jose 4-1. Kane scored two goals. The first brought Buffalo within one. Then Kyle Okposo tied it with 7:29 to go. It was Kane who’d complete the comeback and win it in overtime.
No. 2 Star: Curtis McElhinney, Toronto Maple Leafs
Frederik Andersen got the rare night off and his backup got to face the Dallas Stars. McElhinney held strong facing 40 shots and stopping all but one in the Leafs 3-1 win.
No. 3 Star: Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche
The last time the Avs and Montreal Canadiens met up, Colorado was slapped around to the tune of 10-1. This time in Colorado, Rantanen’s hat-trick led the Avalanche to a 4-0 victor over the Habs.
Honorable Mention: Anders Nilsson picked up the win for Buffalo with 36 saves. In addition to Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, Jack Eichel and Brian Giota all recorded 2 points in the Sabres comeback … Auston Matthews scored his 25th goal of the season … This might be the best moment of Michael Ferland’s career. He picks off Sidney Crosby and then scores a goal.
Sidney Crosby scored one point, putting him now at 998. The Pittsburgh Penguins came from an 0-2 deficit to tie the Calgary Flames; however, the Flames would prevail in the shootout … Jason Pominville registered 2 goals and 2 assists and Charlie Coyle had 3 assists for Minnesota in their 4-2 win over Winnipeg … Pekka Rinne earned his 21st win allowing 2 goals on 33 shots as the Nashville Predators beat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-2.
… Jake Allen got a big boost of confidence as the St. Louis Blues blanked the Ottawa Senators, 6-0. Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, David Peron and Vladimir Tarasenko earned 2 points each … Calvin Pickard had 27 saves in his second shutout of the season … The Washington Capitals appear to be back to ‘normal’ as Braden Holtby led the team to a 6-0 shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes. This is Holtby’s seventh shutout of the year … Although the score doesn’t indicate it, John Gibson had a good game for the Ducks.
Aaand the Ducks lost to the New York Rangers, 3-1. The win marked the 600th of Alain Vigneault’s coaching career. Henrik Lundqvist made 43 saves and Michael Grabner’s two goal night gives him 25 on the season … Seth Jones scored a controversial overtime goal for the Columbus Blue Jackets … Ben Bishop finally earned his first shutout of the season with 28 saves in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-0 thumping of the Los Angeles Kings. Nikita Kucherov netted two goals.
Did You Know?
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) February 8, 2017
Dishonorable Mention: Did the Detroit Red Wings get screwed by the officials in OT? … Barely two minutes into the game, Cody McLeod landed a hit on Sven Baertschi that knocked him out of the game.
… The hook was short for Ondrej Pavelec tonight. He lasted 26:15 and gave up 3 goals on 14 shots. Connor Hellebuyck finished the game but the Winnipeg Jets couldn’t complete the comeback. Dustin Byfuglien gave the Minnesota Wild a penalty shot after shooting a stick on the ice at the puck. The Wild did not convert.