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NHL Three Stars: Reimer backstops Leafs to playoffs; Ovechkin hits 30

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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Good on Don Cherry for being #BostonStrong

No. 1 Star: James Reimer, Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs goalie made 49 (!) saves in their 4-1 victory at the Ottawa Senators, continuing his mastery of the Battle of Ontario rivals. That included 18 saves in a scoreless first period. Reimer’s efforts and two goals from James van Riemsdyk led Toronto to its first playoff berth since 2004.

No. 2 Star: Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers

Simmonds tallied a hat trick and added an assist on Matt Read’s third-period insurance goal as the Flyers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-3. Both he and Read were a plus-4. Jakub Voracek scored his 20th for the Flyers.

No. 3 Star: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

The Montreal Canadiens were in a giving mood again, losing to the Washington Capitals by a 5-1 count. Ovechkin increased his lead for the goal scoring title with two more tallies, as well as an assist on Nicklas Backstrom’s power-play goal. He now has 30 goals in 45 games. Troy Brouwer also had two goals for the Capitals.

Honorable Mention: Tomas Vokoun made 38 saves and Jussi Jokinen had a goal and two assists in the Pittsburgh Penguins3-2 win over the Boston Bruins. Jarome Iginla scored on the power play against the team that nearly traded for him. … Patrik Elias scored two goals as the Devils rallied to defeat the Florida Panthers, 6-2. Marty Brodeur only faced 13 shots. … David Schlemko scored the skills competition winner and Mike Smith made 36 saves in the game as the Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2. Brent Seabrook had two goals. … John Tavares had the deciding goal in the skills competition, as the New York Islanders defeated the Winnipeg Jets, 5-4. … Finally, the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Detroit Red Wings in the skills competition, 2-1, with this nasty bit of patience from Maxim Lapierre:

Did You Know? The Leafs, Kings and Canucks all clinched playoff spots.

Dishonorable Mention: Jay Harrison and Jamie McBain were both a minus-3. … Carey Price gave up five goals on 25 shots. … Tomas Kopecky, Filip Kuba and Dmitry Kulikov were all a minus-3. … Finally, Fraser McLaren fought Matt Kassian and got a little head-butty:

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