Hockey Night's 3 Stars senior reporter Tim Wharnsby names Andrei Markov, Alex Ovechkin and David Backes as his top performers in the NHL from the weekend. senior reporter Tim Wharnsby names the top performers in the NHL from the weekend.

FIRST STAR: Andrei Markov, D, Montreal

After missing 35 games because of a severed tendon in his foot, the Canadiens defenceman returned to the lineup months ahead of schedule and made an immediate impact. He scored twice in Montreal's 3-0 road win against the New York Islanders on Saturday, a day before he celebrated his 31st birthday. Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak also deserves praise for his 40-save shutout.

SECOND STAR: Alexander Ovechkin, LW, Washington

With his team down two goals after two periods, Ovechkin responded to his coach's harsh words in the second intermission with two goals early in the third period and an assist in the Capitals' 4-2 win in Edmonton. It was Ovechkin's first trip to Edmonton in three years.

THIRD STAR: David Backes, C, St. Louis

His team is struggling, but thanks to Backes's two-goal performance in the Blues' 3-1 victory in Vancouver, St. Louis jumped out of the Western Conference basement. Backes has five goals in his past five games.