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Greg Wyshynski

Thursday's three stars: Burrows outworks Red Wings in OT

Greg Wyshynski
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No. 1 star: Alex Burrows, Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks agitator had one of the best tallies of the night in one of the biggest spots. After a nifty play by Willie Mitchell to elude a Detroit Red Wings fore-checker, Burrows ended up with the puck at his own blueline. He skated through the neutral zone only to have his shot deflected wide off the end boards to Chris Osgood's right. Brad Staurt was unable to keep Burrows away from the rebound, and the Vancouver forward quickly swatted it behind Osgood for the 4-3 OT win at the Joe. Brilliant goal, aggressive and impressive win for the Canucks.

No. 2 star: Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild

One goal and four assists is impressive on paper, but the quality of those helpers and the Wild's slew of injuries made this a spectacular night for Koivu in Minnesota's 6-2 win over the Florida Panthers. All four were primary assists, and none were better than a cross-ice feed to Antti Miettinen for the eventual game-winner on the power-play in the second period. Koivu hit Miettinen one more time for his fifth goal of the season, and Koivu himself capped the night by scoring the Wild's sixth goal. All of this without the injured Marian Gaborik and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. The AMA Line -- Andrew Brunette, Mikko Koivu and Antti Miettinen -- is on fire right now.

No. 3 star: Boyd Gordon, Washington Capitals

This could have been several players, but we'll give the nod to the Capitals' scrappy forward for his third-period, instant-replay approved snap shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to give Washington a dramatic 4-3 win at the Pittsburgh Penguins -- rallying from a 3-0 deficit. This was like watching two different games: The Penguins' first two periods, and the Capitals' third. Alexander Ovechkin goes scoreless; Sidney Crosby gets two power-play helpers and a minus-3; and Jose Theodore continues to give up enormous rebounds and have ill-communication with his defensemen. But what a game.

Honorable Mention: New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur moves within six shutouts of Terry Sawchuk's NHL record by blanking the Atlanta Thrashers, 1-0, with 25 saves. Meanwhile, Brian Rolston's scary crash into the boards appears to be just an ankle sprain. Of course, ask Sidney Crosby about an ankle sprain. ... Andrew Raycroft stops 16 shots and helps the Colorado Avalanche to their first win, 5-2, over the Philadelphia Flyers. If there's a goalie controversy in Denver, why not wait and see what Peter Budaj does when his team outshoots its opponent 17-3 in the first period? ... Simon Gagne scored his fourth of the season on a penalty shot for the Flyers. ...

The St. Louis Blues' inexplicable power play success continues, going 2-for-4 with goals by Brad Boyes (4) and Eric Brewer (1) in a 6-1 win over the visiting Dallas Stars; a win that saw Dallas starter Marty Turco pulled and Fabian Brunnstrom go scoreless with a minus-2. Back to the circus, unicorn. ... Trent Hunter had two goals, including the OT game-winner, in the New York Islanders' 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Which brings us to ...

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Dishonorable Mention: You'll not find a more feeble moment in last night's games than Olaf Kolzig's goaltending gaffe in overtime against the New York Islanders. He deflected a weak shot on goal behind the net, attempted to move it ahead despite having a defenseman waiting behind him, coughed up the puck to Frans Nielsen and had it tapped in by Hunter for the game-winner. For those keeping score at home: ESPN analyst Matthew Barnaby has as many coaching wins this regular season as the Tampa Bay Lightning's Barry Melrose. ... Speaking of softies, Tomas Vokoun let a desperation blue-line shot from Kim Johnsson behind him to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead. He was later pulled for Craig Anderson. ... Finally, if anyone's seen Mike Knuble or Danny Briere, please let them know the Flyers miss them and would like to see them again soon.

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