No. 1 star, Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers:
Thursday night's game against visiting Buffalo was the 264th of Mike Richards' career, and statistically it goes down as his best night in the NHL. Richards scored two goals and added three assists for a career-high five points as the Flyers doubled up the Sabres, 6-3. Richards assisted on his team's first two goals, then took it upon himself to score the next pair – the first of which was a league-leading sixth short-handed goal. Richards, with 22 goals and 57 points, was a plus-5 – don't see that very often – with five shots, two blocks, three hits during 22:22 of ice time. He won 17 of 24 faceoff, too. Oh, and he locked all the doors before being last to leave the arena.
No. 2 star, Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks:
Like the night's No. 1 star, Henrik Sedin figured in the scoring of all but one of his team's goals. Sedin had a goal and three assists as the Canucks went into Ottawa and skated away with a 5-2 victory. Sedin was particularly effective in the opening period, scoring his 12th goal of the season and assisting on the other two as the visitors rolled to a 3-0 lead early.
No. 3 star, Cristobal Huet, Chicago Blackhawks:
With Nikolai Khabibulin sidelined with an injury, the Blackhawks are counting on Cristobal Huet to hold the fort, and the goalie is certainly doing his job. Huet stopped all 31 shots he faced to post his third shutout of the season. Huet, who has made four straight starts as Khabibulin nurses a groin injury, has four shutouts in 10 career games against Florida.
The top sports headlines of the day
Honorable mention: Rick Nash had a goal, an assist and the shootout winner as Columbus earned coach Ken Hitchcock his 500th career victory. … Raymond Sawada scored his first career goal in his first career game, and it came on his 24th birthday as Dallas won. … Ben Eager scored two goals as Chicago won for the 18th time on the road, one more than all of last season. … Zach Parise scored a goal in regulation and converted another in the shootout as New Jersey beat Tampa Bay, which received two goals from Ryan Malone. … Sergei Gonchar's first goal during in his third game since returning from season-long injury was the winner, and represented Dan Bylsma's first coaching victory for Pittsburgh. … Eric Staal scored a pair in Carolina's win. … Claude Lemieux collected his first point since March 9, 2003 (while a member of the Dallas Stars) as San Jose turned back Los Angeles. … Calgary's Adrian Aucoin and Keith Tkachuk of St. Louis scored late OT winners. … Daniel Carcillo scored in the eighth round of the shootout as Phoenix snapped a six-game losing streak at home.
Did you know?: The Islanders are the only team in the league that hasn't shut out an opponent this season. Boy, that Rick DiPietro (five games played) contract is just looking worse all the time.
Dishonorable mention: Ottawa's high-profile offensive stars Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza were each a minus-3 during a home loss to Vancouver. … Carey Price fell to 2-8-1 since returning from an injury. The Montreal goalie was 7-0-2 immediately before getting hurt. … The Islanders are winless in seven of their last eight games.