After scoring six times to move atop the NHL goalscoring leaderboard, Tampa Bay sniper Steve Stamkos was named the NHL’s first star of the week.
Stamkos played a huge role in getting the Lightning back to .500 (17-17-3) and within six points of the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot. During a recent three game unbeaten streak, he potted two game-winners, the last of which moved him four goals clear of New York’s Marian Gaborik for the scoring lead.
Second star went to Washington’s Alex Ovechkin. He tallied seven points (5G, 2A) with a plus-4 rating as the Capitals won three of four — he also registered a point in each of the four games, moving his personal point-scoring streak to six contests. The two-time Hart Trophy winner now leads the Caps in goals (16), PP goals (five), shots (143) and coaches fired (one).
Third star went to Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Quick. He posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.33 GAA and .958 save percentage as the Kings moved back atop the Pacific Division. The highlight of Quick’s week was a 38-save shutout against Chicago on Dec. 28 — his NHL-leading fifth shutout of the season. Quick is now 17-10-5 on the year with a 2.05 GAA and .931 save percentage.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger