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Sean Leahy

Friday's Three Stars: Myers, Whitney take charge in victories

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 star: Tyler Myers(notes), Buffalo Sabres

Myers scored power-play goals and added an assist as Buffalo held on to beat Toronto 3-2. The Sabres rookie defenseman now sits two points behind New York Islanders forward John Tavares(notes) for the rookie scoring lead and in many eyes has over taken the leader for the Calder Trophy. Buffalo's win was their sixth in a row and 10th consecutive against the Maple Leafs.

No. 2 star: Ray Whitney(notes), Carolina Hurricanes

In a much-needed victory, Whitney scored both Carolina goals in a 2-1 win over Colorado. The veteran winger now has points in four of his last five games, while the 'Canes have won three of their previous five. It was a game filled with physicality and saw 42 of the games' 58 penalty minutes come in the first period, including a revenge-filled scrap between Darcy Tucker(notes) and Tuomo Ruutu(notes). Back in October, Ruutu hit Tucker from behind and the Avalanche forward didn't forget. Ruutu left the game with an apparent hand injury due to the fight.

No. 3 star: Antoine Vermette(notes), Columbus Blue Jackets

Vermette had a hand in all three Columbus goals during a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames. Scoring the game-winner early in the third period, his 100th career NHL goal, and assisting on goals in the first and second period, Vermette's three-point night gave the Blue Jackets their second win a row, a feat they haven't accomplished since mid-November.

Honorable mention: Matt Cullen(notes) assisted on both Ray Whitney goals extending his point streak to three games. Cam Ward(notes) made 29 saves in the win ... Ryan Miller(notes) made a career-high 48 stops in Buffalo's win over Toronto. Tim Connolly(notes) now has an eight-game points streak after assisting on two of Buffalo's three goals ... Josh Bailey's(notes) goal and assist gives him seven points in his last five game. Brad Richards(notes) and Loui Eriksson(notes) each had a goal and an assist to spoil Rick DiPietro's(notes) return for the New York Islanders in a 4-3 Dallas win. DiPietro may have allowed four goals on 24 shots in his season debut, but he was credited with an assist on a Josh Bailey goal ... Raffi Torres(notes) scored the opening goal for Columbus and assisted on Antoine Vermette's eventual game-winner.

Did you know?: Toronto has allowed the first goal in 32 of their 45 games. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: After seeing his team lose by a goal to Carolina, Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco can't help but be frustrated to see his power-play go 0-for-6 on the night ... Marty Turco(notes) is usually known to be a good puck handler, but tonight versus the Islanders he made two blunders leading to goals from Josh Bailey and Frans Nielsen ... Phil Kessel(notes), who was called out by Toronto head coach Ron Wilson, had a game-high eight shots on goal but zero points. The Maple Leafs forward now has one goal in 11 games.

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