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Sean Leahy

Monday's Three Stars: AK-46 is OT hero; Kopitar stays hot

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 Star: Andrei Kostitsyn, Montreal Canadiens

It wasn't until mid-December last season that Kostitsyn scored his fifth goal. It took only eight games this season as his fifth of this season was the overtime winner in a 3-2 win against the Phoenix Coyotes at Bell Centre. Kostitsyn has now scored four times in his past five games. Carey Price(notes) made 27 saves for his fifth win of the season, while Mike Cammalleri added a goal and an assist in the victory. The win now puts the Habs in a three-way tie atop the Eastern Conference standings with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning at 11 points.

No. 2 Star: Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

After a slow start, Kopitar has kicked things into gear in the past week. His power play goal with 18 seconds remaining in the second period would eventually force overtime and a shootout in a 3-2 Kings win over the Minnesota Wild. Kopitar would score the opening goal in the shootout as Los Angeles would prevail there 3-2. The 23-year old has scored in three of his last four games for the Kings. Jack Johnson(notes) recorded two assists and Jonathan Quick(notes) made 20 stops to improve his record to 5-1-0.

No. 3 Star: Mathieu Garon, Columbus Blue Jackets

In just his second start of the season, Garon frustrated the Philadelphia Flyers making 28 saves, including 12 in the third period during a 2-1 Columbus win. Derick Brassard's(notes) power play goal midway through the second period would hold as the game winner as the Blue Jackets won for the fifth time this season.

Honorable mention: Kyle Wilson(notes) scored his first NHL goal for the Blue Jackets ... Flyers defenseman Sean O'Donnell(notes) played in his 1,100th career NHL game ... Guillaume Latendresse(notes) gets "Save of the Night" honors for robbing Ryan Smyth(notes):

Did you know? "Niklas Backstrom(notes) has lost 9 of his last 10 shootouts, including six straight." - Michael Russo, Star Tribune.

Dishonorable mention: Philadelphia has now lost four of their last five games ... The last time the Coyotes won in Montreal was October 28th, 1996 ... Was Dustin Brown's(notes) hit on Antti Miettinen(notes) to the head or shoulder?

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