NHL Three Stars: Elliott back with shutout win; Blackhawks, Penguins clinch

Greg Wyshynski
April 8, 2013

No. 1 Star: Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues

Hey, guess who’s back? Elliott pitched a 1-0 shutout against the Detroit Red Wings, making 28 saves and making a Chris Porter goal stand up. It’s his third straight win.

No. 2 Star: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

The captain led the Blackhawks to a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators, clinching a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Toews assisted on Brandon Saad’s ninth of the season to tie the game 3-3, and then scored his 19th of the season to give the Hawks the lead just 55 seconds later.

No. 3 Star: Scott Clemmensen, Florida Panthers

Craig Anderson returned for the Ottawa Senators, but it was Clemmensen that dazzled between the pipes as the Panthers won, 2-1. He made 40 saves in the game. Said Anderson afterward: “He made some big saves and stole them the game.'' Dmitry Kulikov had the game-winner.

Honorable mention: Alex Ovechkin tied Steven Stamkos with 25 goals for the NHL lead, scoring twice in the Washington Capitals’ 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Joel Ward assisted on the tying goal and scored the eventual game-winner. … Alex Chiasson scored two goals and Jamie Benn had the lone goal in the shootout, as the Dallas Stars defeated the San Jose Sharks, 5-4. … Niklas Backstrom stopped 24 shots for the shutout and Jason Pominville had a goal and an assist as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-0. … Patrick Kane scored his 20th in the Blackhawks’ win. … Ryan Miller made 37 saves and Nathan Gerbe scored the shootout-winning goal in the Buffalo Sabres’ 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. … The Devils' loss clinched a playoff spot for the Pittsburgh Penguins. ... Corey Perry scored in regulation and had the shootout-winning goal in the Anaheim Ducks’ 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Jeff Carter scored Goal No. 23 in the loss. … This TJ Galiardi goal is pretty OK:

Did you know? The Kings and Ducks both confirmed their serious interest in playing an outdoor game next season. The Kings are working on plans to host a game in January, likely at Dodger Stadium. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: Craig Smith was a minus-3 for Nashville. … Eric Brewer was a minus-3 for the Lightning. … Patrick Marleau was a minus-2 and has one goal in his last 10 games. … The Blue Jackets gave up two power-play goals and were 0-for-4 on the man advantage.