Monday's Three Stars: Lehtonen thrashes Capitals

No. 1 star, Kari Lehtonen, Atlanta Thrashers:
Forty-nine was the magic number on Monday night. That's how many career-high saves Kari Lehtonen collected, and that's the season-total number of goals he kept Alexander Ovechkin stuck on after denying the Capitals' star on all 10 of his shots (and seven others that missed the net). Lehtonen was outstanding throughout, and deserved a third shutout in five starts that was only ruined in the final 75 seconds when Atlanta got outnumbered in front of its goaltender. Lehtonen's heroics not only put Ovechkin in such a crabby mood that he refused to talk to the media afterward, he also spearheaded the Thrashers to a franchise-record sixth straight victory. Lehtonen got some personal revenge on Ovechkin by snapping his 10-game scoring streak. Ovechkin's 16 career goals against Lehtonen are most versus any goalie in the league.

No. 2 star, Ryan Jones, Nashville Predators:
The rookie right wing scored maybe the most significant goal of his young career when he broke a 3-3 tie with 2:18 remaining to lead the Predators past the host Kings. Jones got in position in front to tip a Dan Hamhuis drive on Los Angeles goalie Erik Ersberg, who left a rebound that Jones backhanded in enabling Nashville to pass idle Dallas into seventh place in the Western Conference standings.

No. 3 star, Tobias Enstrom, Atlanta Thrashers:
The Atlanta defenseman scored a goal, added an assist and logged 24:03 of ice time.

Honorable mention: J.P. Dumont had two assists and defenseman Shea Weber scored his 19th goal in addition to logging a team-high 24:43 of ice time for Nashville. … Michal Handzus scored a goal, added an assist and went 18-7 in the faceoff circle for Los Angeles. … Atlanta's power play went 3-for-4 while Rich Peverley won 16 of 21 draws.

Did you know?: With three straight wins, the Predators are in position to sweep the four-game season series against the Kings for the first time in franchise history.

Dishonorable mention: Neither Ilya Kovalchuk nor the Thrashers will disclose exactly what is the nature of the captain's "upper-body injury". Can't let those kind of secrets out now with the Stanley Cup playoffs fast approaching. Oh, wait, we're talking about Atlanta here. … Before Monday's four-goal outburst in Los Angeles, Nashville had scored more than two goals in only one of its previous 17 road games.

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