Another light schedule in the NHL last night. The Dallas Stars seemed to be suffering from an Avery controversy hangover as they went down 5-2 to the Edmonton Oilers. The injury-riddled St. Louis Blues looked like an AHL team as they were shut out 4-0 by the stingy Minnesota Wild. The New York Rangers held on for a 3-2 shootout win against the lethal Pittsburgh Penguins offense. The young Chicago Blackhawks continued to show they are for real as they doubled up Anaheim 4-2, and the Ottawa Senators took another positive step towards turning their season around as they thrashed the Thrashers 5-1 in Ottawa. Here are the 3 stars from last nights games:
3 – Nicklas Backstrom – Normally a shutout earns a goalie a higher spot on the 3 star selections, especially when it was the only one of the night. However, Nicklas Backstrom had a relatively light night, stopping only 22 shots by a woefully depleted St. Louis Blues lineup. Backstrom has looked really good so far this season and will likely be Roberto Luongo’s main competitor for the Vezina this year.
2 – Henrik Lundqvist – Lundqvist might not have pitched a shutout last night, but he certainly had to work harder than Backstrom in backstopping the the Rangers to an important 3-2 shootout win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers did make it easy for their goalie in the shootout as all 3 Ranger shooters found the back of the net. Lundqvist only had to make one stop to secure the win.
1 – Dany Heatley – Ottawa fans haven’t had much to cheer about so far this season, but Dany Heatley has been one of the lone bright spots, continuing the consistent play that has him up among the NHL’s leading scorers year after year. He has really come alive since being reunited with former linemates Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, and had another goal and two assists last night to help his Sens easily dispose of the lowly Thrashers 5-1.