No. 1 star: Jason Arnott, Nashville Predators
The big center iceman, who spent a little more than three of his 15 NHL seasons in Dallas, came back to haunt one of his former teams Saturday night by figuring in the scoring of all three goals as the Predators opened their home season with a 3-1 win over the visiting Stars. Arnott scored two power-play goals – the first at 10:54 of the opening period to break a 1-1 tie and his second at 16:13 of the third period to provide insurance. Arnott, just 26 games shy of a career-total 1,000, won seven of 12 faceoffs in addition to assisting on the team's first goal.
No. 2 star: Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings
The mule is back. Franzen, one of Detroit's postseason stars from last spring, continued his scoring ways when the Red Wings needed it most. He scored even-strength goals at 11:16 of the third period and again at 18:43 to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 victory at Ottawa in a game Detroit dominated in shots to the tune of 41-22. Franzen was a plus-2 in addition to scoring on his only two shots during 17:24 of ice time.
No. 3 star: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
The Russian superstar shook off his Friday-night opener, where he was held completely off the score sheet, to score the first two goals of his season during a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. Ovechkin scored the game-tying goal at 5:07 of the second period and added a fourth at 18:24 in the third. Ovechkin was credited with six shots, one hit, one blocked shot and was a plus-2 during a strong 24:46 of ice time.
Honorable mention: Simon Gagne scored a goal and was a plus-2 during 22:44 of skating in his first game in a long time with the Philadelphia Flyers. Likewise, Patrice Bergeron had an assist and won seven of 10 draws during 19:02 of skating time for the Boston Bruins, who had missed him since the first 10 games of last season. … The New York Rangers are 4-0 for the first time in 25 seasons. … Alex Tanguay's debut as a Montreal Canadien is a solid one – one goal and three assists. … The New York Islanders scored only 44 first-period goals last season. They have five in two games thanks to four more Saturday night. … Florida Panthers defenseman Jay Bouwmeester logged 34:52 of ice time during Florida's overtime win against Atlanta. … Penguins' goalie was left hung out to dry by his teammates but still managed 47 saves to enable Pittsburgh to earn a point before losing in OT.
Dishonorable mention: So Toronto spoiled Stanley Cup champion Detroit's banner-raising ceremony Thursday night with a surprising 3-2 victory, then went home Saturday night and opened with a brutal 6-1 loss to rival Montreal. Vesa Toskala allowed six goals in the first two periods. … Tampa Bay blew a 3-0 lead and surrendered 46 shots in Barry Melrose's home debut, a 4-3 loss in overtime against Carolina. … Pittsburgh was outshot 49-15.