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Friday’s Three Stars: Cole, Umberger net tricks; Stafford leads Sabres

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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AP

No. 1 Star: Erik Cole, Montreal Canadiens

Cole matched his career high in goals (30) as he tallied a natural hat trick in the opening 5:41 as the Canadiens downed the Senators 5-1.

Carey Price made 37 saves and P.K. Subban, David Desharnais and Chris Campoli each had a pair of helpers. Cole's trick was the fastest at the start of a game by a Canadiens player ever, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

No. 2 Star: R.J. Umberger, Columbus Blue Jackets

Umberger netted his third career hat trick and first since Nov. 30, 2009 as the Blue Jackets routed the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1.

Steve Mason stopped 39 shots for his sixth win in eight starts. Derick Brassard recorded all three of his assists on Umberger's trick. Jack Johnson had a pair of assists, including the 100th of his NHL career.

No. 3 Star: Drew Stafford, Buffalo Sabres

Stafford scored twice and added an assist as the Sabres moved into a tie for the No. 8 seed in the East with a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers. Stafford now has 12 points in his last six games. Tyler Ennis chipped in three points and Ryan Miller made 26 saves as Buffalo improved to 12-2-4 in their last 18 games. Travis Turnbull opened the scoring with his first career NHL goal.

Honorable mention: Toronto couldn't hold a 3-1 lead over New Jersey, but ended up with a 4-3 shootout win. Nazem Kadri scored in regulation and put home the winning goal in the shootout. James Reimer made 43 saves ... Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the only goal of the shootout as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Florida Panthers 2-1 Devan Dubnyk stopped 26 shots for his fourth win in five games. Jason Garrison scored his 16th goal of the season in the loss, a franchise record by a Panthers defenseman. In overtime, Kris Versteeg was denied by Dubnyk on a breakaway and came within inches of poking home the winner with seconds left:

Tim Stapleton's goal 3:27 into overtime completed a Winnipeg comeback to earn the Jets the extra point in a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals. Down 3-0 early in the second, Ben Maxwell, Bryan Little and Spencer Machacek (his first career) all scored to force overtime. Despite the loss, Alex Ovechkin scored twice, giving him six in his last four games ... Jason Spezza played in his 600th NHL game.

Did you know? Steve Mason is now 4-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average and .952 save percentage vs. Carolina. (@RyanCBJPR)

Fight of the Night Zenon Konopka vs. Brad Staubitz

Dishonorable mention: Mats Zuccarello fractured his wrist blocking a shot and is out indefinitely for the Rangers ... The Capitals had just two shots in the third period and went 16 minutes without recording one ... Washington was 22-0-0 when leading after two periods ... Craig Anderson was in net for the first time since Feb. 22 and allowed all three of Cole's goals.

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