No. 1 star: Yann Danis, New York Islanders
Islanders Coach Scott Gordon was publically critical of goalie Yann Danis earlier this week. So he opened his press conference after Danis's outstanding 39-save performance last night with this lighthearted jab: "I want you all to know that I thought Yann should have had that first one." The third-string goalie saw his team outshot 40-14, but managed to control his rebounds and rob a few shooters in New York's 2-1 win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks. It was Danis's first win of the season, and the first for the Islanders in 2009.
Ribeiro's first NHL hat trick and first multi-goal game of the season came at the right time. First, he cashed in a rebound from a James Neal shot to give the Stars a 2-1 lead. In the third period, Ribeiro's speed allowed him to collect a nifty bounce pass from Steve Ott for a breakaway goal. He added the empty netter for the hat trick and the vital 4-1 road win for the Stars at the Florida Panthers.
Third-period goals by Eric Perrin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Chris Thorburn powered an Atlanta Thrashers' rally to tie the Flyers at 3-3. But Knuble managed to score on his own rebound past Kari Lehtonen at 12:12 and then put the game away with an empty netter from near the red line at 19:19 to give the Flyers a 5-3 victory -- helping goalie Antero Niittymaki improve to a stellar 12-0 lifetime against Atlanta.
Honorable Mention: Chris Mason didn't have to dominate as the Chicago Blackhawks stunk up the joint at home, but the St. Louis Blues keeper made 21 saves to shut out the Hawks, 2-0. ... Johnny Oduya had the game-winner and Zack Parise scored his 28th goal of the season as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Montreal Canadiens at home, 5-2. ... The Tampa Bay Lightning's defense scored three goals, including Cory Murphy's clincher on the power play, as the Bolts defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 5-3. Derek Roy had two goals in the loss. ... The Los Angeles Kings knocked out Peter Budaj in the second period, but hung on to defeat the Colorado Avalanche, 6-5, as the Avs rallied with two goals in the third. Alexander Frolov scored twice for the Kings, as the teams combined for seven goals in the second period. Defenseman Jack Johnson scored his first of the season for the Kings. ... Todd Bertuzzi beat Steve Mason in the shootout, giving the Calgary Flames a 5-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Michael Cammalleri and R.J. Umberger had two-goal games. ... The Boston Bruins rallied in the third period - a rarity this season for an otherwise dominant team -- to tie the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Michael Ryder had the shootout winner for the 4-3 victory. ... Finally, Keith Ballard of the Panthers had the hit of the night against Darryl Sydor of the Stars, a bell-ringing shoulder that had Sydor on the ice for several moments before skating to the bench. ...
Dishonorable Mention: Along with Budaj for Colorado, goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere was yanked after giving up two goals on seven shots for Anaheim. ... Congrats to David Koci of the Lightning, who had more minutes in minor penalties (six) than time on ice (4:32). ... Speaking of penalties: Dion Phaneuf was tossed from the game for this hit from behind on Umberger in the Flames/Blue Jackets game. Marc Methot stood up for his teammate, earning a fighting major, instigator and misconduct for this incident; Phaneuf was given a fighting major, boarding major and a game misconduct. (Footage via Hockey-Fights.com):