NHL 3 Stars will be a regular feature here at Hockey Hermit’s NHL Hockey Blog. On a daily basis, providing there were enough games played to warrant it, I’ll be featuring the best players from the night before. You can expect to see a lot of Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, but I’ll try to mix it up so the plumbers get their due when they have a good night 🙂

There were just a handful of games in the NHL last night, and I can’t say that any particular player really lit it up. Still, one forward and a pair of goalies were good enough to make the cut. Here are the NHL 3 stars for December 1st:

3rd Star – Steve Mason – The goalie that was so dominant for Canada at the World Junior Championships last year proved last night he could do it at the NHL level last night. He made several key saves to help Nashville eke out the Canucks 3-2, including a breakaway stop on sniper Daniel Sedin and a spectacular glove hand save on Kyle Wellwood in the dying seconds.

2nd Star – Paul Stastny – Nobody suspected that Paul Stastny might one day be as good as his Hall of Fame father Peter, but to the pleasant surprise of the Colorado Avalanche it is looking more and more likely with each passing game. Paul Stastny, in just his third season with the Avalanche, is proving he is one of the best young stars in the game today. His 2 goal, 1 assist performance helped his club to a 6-5 win over their divisional rivals from Minnesota last night.

1st Star – Pekka Rinne – This guy might not be a household name yet, but he made a strong case to get a little more playing time after he shut out the explosive Buffalo Sabres last night. He has only appeared in 6 games so far this season, but with a 4-0-0 record, and a shutout under his belt Nashville Predators fans might be seeing this guy between the pipes more often.