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Friday’s Three Stars: Jeffrey, Malkin take over for Penguins; Ponikarovsky to New Jersey

Harrison Mooney
Puck Daddy

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Jonathan Toews breaks down after losing a puck battle - Getty Images

No. 1 Star: Dustin Jeffrey, Pittsburgh Penguins

The Montreal Canadiens jumped out to a 3-1 lead in this game, but they couldn't stop the Penguins' dominant centre. No, not Evgeni Malkin -- Dustin Jeffrey, who scored twice and added an assist to keep the Penguins in the game. Speaking of Malkin though, he eventually went into beast mode and scored the game-tying goal.

Rawr! Beast mode! While in beast mode, Malkin also took a moment to score the shootout winner as the Penguins eked out a 5-4 comeback win.

No. 2 Star: Jussi Jokinen, Carolina Hurricanes

On Tuesday, the Capitals had a chance to take over top spot in the Southeast and they put in a poor performance, falling 3-0 to the New York Islanders. Friday, they had the same opportunity: they did the same thing by the same 3-0 score. Not ideal. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes were led by Jokinen, who scored shorthanded in the first and on the powerplay in the second.

No. 3 Star: Teddy Purcell, Tampa Bay Lightning

Purcell scored the opening goal in this game with only a minute to go in the first period versus the Dallas Stars, and after a scoreless second, it began to look like the goal might stand as the game-winner. However, once Tom Wandell tied the game 1:22 into the third, Purcell turned it on again. He reclaimed his game-winner only two minutes later as the Bolts topped the Stars 2-1.

Honourable Mention: The Penguins clearly have no interest in easing Kris Letang back into the lineup. "The Tang" played over 28 minutes Friday... Erik Cole and Andrei Kostitsyn picked up a goal and an assist in the Canadiens loss... Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist in the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers... Cam Ward picked up the shutout for the Hurricanes. Jiri Tlusty's last-minute goal was a great individual effort:

Did You Know? Despite shutting out the Capitals, the Hurricanes indicated that they'd be sellers at the deadline, trading Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for minor-league defenseman Joe Sova and a fourth round pick.

Dishonourable Mention: The Capitals earn a mention here with their 22-shot performance in Carolina. You'd think they might have wanted to win that one... P.K. Subban's slewfoot on Chris Kunitz was pretty dishonourable.

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