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NHL Three Stars: McElhinney blanks Wild; Higgins’ OT goal saves Canucks

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 Star: Curtis McElhinney, Columbus Blue Jackets

With a 20-save night during a 4-0 win over the Minnesota Wild, McElhinney earned his first shutout since Nov. 5, 2011. Nick Foligno, R.J. Umberger and Ryan Johansen helped out by each chipping in two points as the Blue Jackets won their second straight game for the first time since late-October. It was McElhinney's third career NHL shutout.

No. 2 Star: Elias Lindholm, Carolina Hurricanes

A night after getting five hung on them by the Pittsburgh Penguins, the San Jose Sharks allowed five more in a 5-3 loss to the Hurricanes. The rookie Lindholm broke a 3-3 tie with six minutes left in the third period and assisted on two other goals as Carolina won their third in a row. Riley Nash, Jay Harrison and Jordan Staal each recorded two points.

No. 3 Star: Chris Higgins, Vancouver Canucks

The pride of Smithown, New York put home the winner 3:41 into overtime to give the Canucks a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. The goal was his first in eight games and the 21st game winner of his career. Roberto Luongo made 37 saves.

Honorable mention: Joe Thornton's assist extended his points streak to eight games ... Manny Malhotra went 10-for-13 in the dot. He's now 115-for-182 (61.3%) on the season, good for second-best in NHL ... Johan Franzen's goal with 7:20 left in the third period broke a 1-1 tie and helped give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Franzen added an assist and Tomas Tatar, who put home the insurance marker with 1:03 left, also had two assists. Jonas Gustavsson, who made a wild save in the second period, finished with 10 saves to improve to 8-0-1 ... Kyle Palmieri and Nick Bonino scored in the shootout to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks and drop the defending champs to a third straight loss ... Colorado scored three unanswered goals and hung on for a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames. Nathan MacKinnon's sixth of the season early in the third period would end up the game winner. Max Talbot scored a goal and assisted on another as the Avalanche scored twice in a 54-second span in the second period ... Nice leg save here by Alex Stalock:

Did You Know? Columbus is 35-0-0 when leading after two periods under Todd Richards. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: The Red Wings scored five seconds after Cory Schneider was wrongly whistled for playing the puck outside the trapezoid ... Chicago's three-game losing streak is their first since Feb. 2012 ... The Ducks had a clear goal in overtime waived off for goaltender interference. Replays showed Duncan Keith checked Saku Koivu into Antti Raanta ... Does J.S. Giguere have a case for goaltender interference here on Lee Stempniak?

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