No. 1 star: Dustin Byfuglien, Chicago Blackhawks
At this rate, Dustin Byfuglien is going to become a household name, even if many households still are quite sure how to pronounce the versatile 23-year-old's name. Byfuglien (think Bufflin) figured in the scoring of all four goals with two of his own and a pair of assists as the 82-year-old franchise won a ninth straight game for the first time. Byfuglien, playing right wing, scored the Blackhawks' first two goals against Minnesota, an even-strength tally at 7:14 and a power-play goal at 9:38. Byfuglien's seventh goal of the season counted as the game-winner. A plus-3, Byfuglien produced a team-high five shots on goal and was credited with two hits during 17:26 of ice time.
No. 2 star: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Simply put, Alexander Ovechkin changed the momentum of Washington's game against Toronto with one single shot late in the second period. Ovechkin's drive while on the move from the right circle probably should have been stopped by Maple Leafs' goalie Vesa Toskala, but maybe just that little extra mustard Ovechkin puts on his shots made the difference. Either way, once his 24th goal of the season trickled through Toskala and came to rest at the back of the net the game was over even though a period and 10 seconds still remained. Ovechkin added an empty-netter late in the third, the last of his team-leading seven shots.
No. 3 star: Manny Fernandez, Boston Bruins
The 1-B goaltender made 32 saves and was especially clutch while nursing a one-goal lead, and facing 1:57 of a late power play late, to lead the red-hot Bruins past the Atlanta Thrashers. Fernandez improved to 12-2-1 as Boston won for the eight straight time to catch San Jose for the overall lead in points (58).
Honorable mention: Michael Ryder scored Boston's game-winner with 6:04 remaining. While the goal gets the headlines, David Krejci's perfect cross-ice feed made the play. … It was a late third-period game-winning goal on the road that Anaheim's Bobby Ryan produced as well. … Eric Cole scored a goal and added two assists in Edmonton's victory over Nashville. … All it took was 18 saves for Vancouver's Curtis Sanford to blank Ottawa and secure his fifth career shutout.
Dishonorable mention: Atlanta gets thrashed by Boston in the season series, losing all four games by a combined score of 18-10. … Five road losses in a row for Nashville, which had a nine-game winning streak against Edmonton snapped. … Toronto's Matt Stajan couldn't play on Sunday after injuring an eye while playing soccer during warm-ups on Saturday. … Oops, the Capitals retired Mike Gartner's No. 11, but instead put the likeness of Tom Selleck on the banner raised to the rafters.