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Monday’s Three Stars: Harding blanks Canucks; Ryan leads Ducks over lifeless Sharks

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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Let it never be said the NHL doesn't attract the big stars: That right there is Angelina Pivarnick, who was on the first season of "Jersey Shore." And then none of the subsequent seasons. And now she and her friend drink beer with a straw.

No. 1 Star: Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild

Harding hadn't won a game since Jan. 21, but the Wild netminder posted a 33-save shutout against the Vancouver Canucks, 2-0. He was great early in the game, allowing Erik Christensen's power-play goal to stand until Kyle Brodziak ended it with a long empty-netter. It was Harding's first shutout since Oct. 29, 2011.

No. 2 Star: Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks

Ryan was a force the San Jose Sharks couldn't reckon with in the Ducks' 5-3 victory on the road. He scored in the first period to tie the game 1-1; in the third, Ryan assisted on goals by Nate Guenin and Kyle Palmieri to lead Anaheim to a victory over their division rivals. Ryan was a plus-3 and led the Ducks with six shots.

No. 3 Star: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Well, hey now, look who decided to start playing like an MVP again. Ovechkin scored two goals to set the tone as the Capitals defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 5-3. In the first, he drew a high-sticking call and scored on the subsequent power play; after Mike Knuble made it 2-0, Ovechkin scored another power-play goal to give the Caps a 3-0 first-period lead. Keith Aucoin had a key second-period goal, while Jason Chimera iced it with an empty netter to give Braden Holtby (30 saves) the win.

Honorable mention: The Boston Bruins steamrolled the Toronto Maple Leafs, 8-0, scoring four first-period goals. Brian Rolston had a goal and three assists. Benoit Pouliot had two goals and an assist. Tim Thomas made just 13 saves for the shutout. The Bruins swept the season series from the Leafs. … The Buffalo Sabres kept pace with the Caps for the No. 8 seed, rolling the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-3. Marcus Foligno and Jason Pominville had two goals apiece. Drew Stafford had a goal and two assists. … Gloriously brutal game between the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers, which started with three fights and ended with the Rangers hanging on for a 4-2 victory. Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Stepan had a goal and an assist. Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves, as the Rangers clinched a playoff spot. Petr Sykora and Patrik Elias had the goals for the Devils. … Ryane Clowe had a goal and two assists for the Sharks, while Martin Havlat had a goal and a helper. … Jeff Deslauriers (27 saves) was great late for the Ducks. ... This Palmieri yo-yo goal was something:

Did you know? Claude Julien coached his 400th game for the Bruins, tying Don Cherry for third most in club history. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture were all scoreless against the Ducks. … Antti Niemi gave up four goals on 26 shots in 30:23, yielding to Thomas Greiss (1 goal, 14 shots). … Carl Gunnarsson, Clarke MacArthur and Luke Schenn were all minus-3. … James Reimer lasted 12:42 before getting yanked, giving up four goals on nine shots. … Dustin Tokarski was pulled after giving up four goals on 15 shots in 28:16. … Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis were held without a point. … Mike Komisarek's unfortunate fight with Milan Lucic was unfortunate.

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