A pretty low scoring night in the NHL Saturday night. There were 3 shutouts and a bunch of 2-1 and 3-2 games. It should be no surprise that goaltenders will feature prominently in this edition of Hockey Hermit’s Hockey Blog 3 Stars. Here are the best of the best from last night’s action:
3rd Star – Josh Harding – It’s not too often that a losing goalie gets on the NHL 3 stars list, but Josh Harding’s performance against Nashville last night was impressive enough to earn him a star selection. Harding made 42 saves to keep his team close in a 1-0 loss to Nashville. Despite only getting into 5 games this season Harding has been magnificent when called upon, and his 1.52 GAA and .948 save percentage certainly justify more playing time. However, that playing time is unlikely to come this season, with number one Nicklas Backstrom putting together a Vezina trophy type season.
2nd Star – Jason Spezza – I wrote not too long ago about how the Ottawa Senators were finally on the winning track. They continued their impressive play of late, outlasting the Pittsburgh Penguins in a hard-fought 3-2 victory last night. The reunited trio of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, and Daniel Alfredsson worked their magic yet again, and Spezza was the best of the three, scoring all three goals to help seal the victory for the surging Senators.
1st Star – Pekka Rinne – I think Dan Ellis might have lost his starting job in Nashville. This is Pekka Rinne’s second appearance on Hermit Hermit’s NHL 3 stars, and his play has been absolutely lights out this season. Rinne was just a little bit better than Minnesota’s Josh Harding last night as he stopped all 32 shots he faced to secure a 1-0 win for Nashville. Looks like Rinne is yet another great goaltender to come out of Finland’s impressive goalie development system.