NHL Three Stars: Toews leads Blackhawks; strong Shark debut

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Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) advances against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Monday, March 2, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)

Toews scores 2 to help Blackhawks beat Hurricanes 5-2

Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) advances against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Monday, March 2, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)

No. 1 Star: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks 

The Hawks captain scored the game’s first two goals, including a shorthanded one, in their 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. He also assisted on Marian Hossa’s third-period goal.

No. 2 Star: Ben Smith, San Jose Sharks

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Acquired at the trade deadline, Smith stepped into the Sharks’ lineup and scored a goal and an assist in their 4-0 whitewash of the Montreal Canadiens. Smith scored in the first period and assisted on Matt Irwin’s goal in the second.

No. 3 Star: Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers

The winger, fresh off a contract extension, assisted on goals by Marc Staal and Chris Kreider in the Rangers’ 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators.

Honorable Mention: Rick Nash scored his 38th. … Brandon Saad scored his 20th. …  Alex Stalock made 20 saves for the shutout.

Did You Know? The Blackhawks are 21-0-0 when leading after 40 minutes.

Dishonorable Mention: Cam Ward was pulled after two periods after giving up four goals on 18 shots. … Chicago and Montreal weren’t given a power-play on Monday night. … Antoine Vermette and Kimmo Timonen went scoreless without a shot in their Blackhawks debut. … Shea Weber was a minus-4, while Mike Fisher was a minus-3.

 

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