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NHL Three Stars: Luongo, Khudobin save teams from 3rd period embarrassments

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy
Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo stops a shot with his helmet during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. Florida won 3-2
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Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo stops a shot with his helmet during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. Florida won 3-2. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

No. 1 Star: Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers

What? First star? But he gave up two goals! Yup, on 54 shots. Luongo stood tall behind the Panthers’ “defense” and backstopped Florida to an improbable 3-2 win at the San Jose Sharks. He made 28 saves in the third period. A period in which in Panthers had two shots on goal and took four minor penalties. Here’s your star, sir.

No. 2 Star: Thomas Vanek, Montreal Canadiens

Vanek finally scored a goal and then added two more on the power play as the Montreal Canadiens lit up Patrick Roy’s Colorado Avalanche, 6-3. Nathan MacKinnon scored his 23rd in the loss.

No. 3 Star: Anton Khudobin, Carolina Hurricanes

Khudobin frustrated the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 46-save effort, as Carolina won, 3-1. He needed to be good in the third period, when Carolina didn’t register a shot and Columbus had 19. He had a shutout until Boone Jenner’s goal with 50 seconds left. Andrei Loktionov and Patrick Dwyer had a goal and an assist each.

Honorable mention: Gustav Nyquist had two goals and Daniel Alfredsson had the game winner in the Detroit Red Wings’ gutsy 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. James van Riemsdyk scored his 27th in the loss. … The Boston Bruins won their 10th straight with a 4-2 win at the New Jersey Devils, getting goals from Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Jarome Iginla and Chris Kelly. … Matt Moulson had two goals and an assist in his return to Long Island, as the Minnesota Wild routed the Islanders 6-0. Ilya Bryzgalov had the shutout. … Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist in the Pittsburgh Penguins5-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Tyler Seguin scored his 31st in the loss, while Chris Kunitz scored his 32nd. … The New York Rangers got two goals from Rick Nash and Derrick Brassard in an 8-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. … The Calgary Flames topped the Buffalo Sabres, 3-1, thanks to third-period goals by Mike Cammallleri and Paul Bryon, shorthanded. … Jaroslav Halak made 43 saves and Alex Ovechkin sniped his 46th goal as the Washington Capitals upset the Anaheim Ducks and former coach Bruce Boudreau, 3-2. … Jordan Eberle had two goals and an assist in the Edmonton Oilers5-1 win over the Nashville Predators. … Finally, Claude Giroux scored with five seconds left in OT to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 3-2 win in Chicago. Scott Hartnell had two goals. …

Did You Know? Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves for his 302nd win to move past Mike Richter for the most victories by a goaltender in franchise history for the Rangers.

Dishonorable mention: Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after giving up three goals in two periods. … Calvin de Haan was a minus-3. … Ray Whitney was a minus-3. … Robin Lehner was pulled by Ottawa for Nathan Lawson, but had to return to the game when Lawson was injured. … Chris Phillips, Chris Neil, Ales Hemsky, Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek were all a minus-3. … Ryan Ellis and Michael Del Zotto were a minus-3. … Pekka Rinne was pulled in the third period after giving up his fifth goal.

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