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NHL 3 Stars: Jeff Carter goes natural; Crosby, Stamkos duel

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

No. 1 Star: Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings

Carter’s natural hat trick powered the Kings to a 5-1 victory over the Nashville Predators, giving him 14 goals on the season. He turned the trick with two goals in 19 seconds in the third period.

No. 2 Star: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Crosby set up Chris Kunitz for the game’s first goal, and then scored a key third period tally after Evgeni Malkin’s spectacular goal in Pittsburgh’s 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

No. 3 Star: James Reimer, Toronto Maple Leafs

Reimer gave up two goals to Marek Zidlicky but nothing else, as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated a Brodeur-less New Jersey Devils team, 4-2. Reimer finished with 28 saves.

Honorable mention: Oliver Ekman-Larsson had two assists and the game-winner in the shootout, as the Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 5-4. Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists in the loss, including a shorthanded goal. … Mike Richards and Dwight King had the Kings’ other goals, while Gabriel Bourque scored his sixth for the Preds. … James Neal scored his 14th into an empty net. … Steven Stamkos had two goals in the loss, giving him an NHL-best 17 on the season. ... Nazem Kadri scored goal No. 9.

Did you know? Shane Doan's 324th career goal moved him past Keith Tkachuk into second place on the franchise's career list, trailing only Dale Hawerchuk. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: Pekka Rinne was yanked after giving up five goals vs. the Kings. … Sergei Kostitsyn and Craig Smith were both a minus-2. … Mathieu Garon left the Bolts' game with an injury after giving up a goal on 13 shots.

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