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Sean Leahy

Friday's Three Stars: Semin goes natural; Boyle's giveaway gaffe

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 Star: Alex Semin, Washington Capitals

The Russian sniper tallied his third hat trick of the season (sixth career) naturally in a 4:29 span during the second period of a 6-0 rout of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Semyon Varlamov(notes) made 17 saves for the shutout and John Erskine(notes) scored his third goal of the season, a career high for the nine-year veteran.

No. 2 Star: Marc-Andre Fleury(notes), Pittsburgh Penguins

Continuing his hot play of late, Fleury made 43 saves to win for the seventh time in his last eight starts as the Penguins edged the Ottawa Senators 2-1. Both Pittsburgh goals came on the power play from Evgeni Malkin(notes) and Alex Goligoski(notes). Sidney Crosby(notes) recorded an assist to extend his points streak to 11 games.

No. 3 Star: Jamie Benn(notes), Dallas Stars

Benn set up Mike Ribeiro's(notes) winner with 3:19 to go as the Dallas Stars scored twice in the final 12 minutes to beat St. Louis 3-2. Benn tied things in the third period with this pretty shorthanded tally:

Honorable mention: Miikka Kiprusoff made 34 saves and Rene Bourque(notes) scored the shootout winner as the Calgary Flames got by the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2. Curtis Glencross'(notes) goal was the 10,000th in Flames history. Olli Jokinen(notes) played in his 900th NHL game ... Rick DiPietro(notes) made 29 saves and recorded his first shutout since last January (also against New Jersey) as the Islanders blanked the Devils 2-0 to snap their 14-game winless streak. New Islanders coach Jack Capuano recorded his first NHL victory ... Ondrej Pavelec starred in Atlanta's 3-0 shutout of the Montreal Canadiens making 25 saves as the Thrashers won their fourth straight. Rich Peverley(notes) scored twice and Tobias Enstrom(notes) scored an added an assist in the win ... Patrick Sharp(notes) scored his fourth goal in five games and Corey Crawford(notes) made 26 saves as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. Sharp's 14th goal of the season started a three-goal third period for Chicago. Niklas Hjalmarsson(notes) scored three minutes after Sharp snapping a 44-game goal drought ... Jimmy Howard's(notes) 34 saves and Valtteri Filppula(notes) scored and added an assist as Detroit edged Columbus 2-1. One of Howard's saves included this one on Jakub Voracek(notes):

Back in goal after missing two games, Ryan Miller(notes) returned to the Buffalo net and proceeded to make 35 saves as the Sabres defeated Toronto 3-1. With the victory, Buffalo won for the 16th time in their last 19 games against the Maple Leafs ... Two days after his wife gave birth to a baby boy, Cam Ward(notes) shutout the Boston Bruins with a 37-save performance and the Carolina Hurricanes scored all three times on the power play against the NHL's No. 1 penalty kill unit. Tuomo Ruutu(notes) played in his 400th game ... Martin Havlat scored twice and Jose Theodore(notes) made 32 stops as Minnesota beat Nashville 5-2. The Wild took a 4-0 lead on their first 11 shots. Minnesota is now 7-2-1 in home games the day after Thanksgiving ... Ryan Callahan's(notes) power play tally and Brandon Prust's(notes) shorthanded goal in the third period put away the Florida Panthers as the New York Rangers prevailed 3-0. Henrik Lundqvist(notes) made 40 saves for his third shutout of the season after allowing 17 goals in his past five appearances ... Mikael Samuelsson(notes) scored twice and Roberto Luongo(notes) made 32 saves as the Vancouver Canucks blitzed the San Jose Sharks 6-1. Twelve Canucks finished with a point.

Did you know? "Semin's three hat tricks in 35 days are the fastest in the NHL since Marian Gaborik(notes) had 3 in 34 days for the Wild in Nov-Dec 2002." (@WashCaps)

Dishonorable mention: The Flyers thought they had the game winner off of Mike Richards'(notes) stick in overtime, but the officials ruled he had violated the "Sean Avery Rule" by waving his hand in front of Kiprusoff's face ... Philadelphia's power play went 0-for-6 ... Tim Thomas'(notes) two losses in regulation this season have both come against the Carolina Hurricanes ... All but two Nashville Predators finished a minus against Minnesota ... Alex Auld(notes) made 44 saves in the Canadiens loss and he'll definitely want this goal back ... Kent Huskins(notes) and Patrick Marleau(notes) each finished a minus-4 ... Antti Niemi(notes) has now allowed 13 goals in his last three starts ... A week after Mike Komisarek(notes) mistakenly made a beautiful cross-ice pass to Mike Cammalleri, Dan Boyle(notes) tried to one-up him with this giveaway to Mikael Samuelsson:

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