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Saturday’s Three Stars: Chris Higgins melts Avalanche; Alfie’s 4-pointer tops Penguins

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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Tim Wallace doesn't score often. But when he does, it looks like this.

No. 1 Star: Chris Higgins, Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks winger completed a 2-goal rally with a game-tying goal in the second period, and then scored the game-winning OT goal to give Vancouver a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. The Canucks clinched their fourth consecutive Northwest Division title.

No. 2 Star: Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators

Ottawa's captain scored 2 goals and 2 assists in the Senators' 8-4 victory against the red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins. With his team clinging to a 4-3 lead, Alfredsson scored a shorthanded goal late in the second period. Nick Foligno and Milan Michalek had 3-point nights. Matt Cooke had two goals and Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist in the loss, the Penguins' first regulation defeat in 15 games.

No. 3 Star: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

Thomas was the difference in the third period, stopping 17 of 18 shots and 40 for the game as the Bruins topped the Los Angeles Kings, 4-2. Milan Lucic and Chris Kelly had third-period goals.

Honorable mention: Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves and Jamie Benn scored two goals as the Dallas Stars damaged the Calgary Flames' playoff hopes with a 4-1 win. … Valtteri Filppula (3 assists) and Juri Hudler (1 goal, 2 assists) had three-point games while Henrik Zetterberg had two goals in the Detroit Red Wings' 5-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. … Ryan Miller made 24 saves while Thomas Vanek and Cody Hodgson had a goal and an assist in the Buffalo Sabres' 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. … Pekka Rinne made 24 saves, getting goals from Matt Halischuk, Gabriel Bourque and Shea Weber in the Nashville Predators' 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. … Ryan Callahan had the game-deciding shootout goal in the New York Rangers' 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Marian Gaborik scored two goals in regulation. Tim Connolly scored the game-tying goal 18 seconds after Gaborik's third-period goal. … Ryane Clowe had the game-deciding goal in the shootout after earlier taking a Brent Burns shot off of the face, as the San Jose Sharks picked up a huge two points with a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. Joe Thornton had two assists. Daymond Langkow had a goal and an assist; Mike Smith was solid with 29 saves. … Danny Briere scored two power-play goals in the second period, as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1. Matt Read had a goal and an assist, while Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves, had an assist and a tripping minor. … Steven Stamkos scored goals No. 51 and 52, and assisted on Tim Wallace's third-period goal, as the Tampa Bay Lightning topped the New York Islanders, 4-3. Stamkos set the franchise single-season record for goals. … Zdeno Chara played game No. 1,000.

Playoff Race: The Sabres moved into the No. 8 seed, up two points on the Capitals. San Jose is tied in points with Colorado and Los Angeles, but the Kings hold the No. 8 seed with more wins than the Sharks and fewer games played than the Avs.

Fight of the Night: Chris Kelly had a good fight and Trevor Lewis had one good punch:

Did you know? The Stars paid tribute to former D Karlis Skrastins prior to the game. Skrastins was a member of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team when the Latvian native died in a plane crash in Russia last September en route to a Kontinental League game in Minsk. His widow, Zane, and three daughters participated in the ceremony. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: Justin Faulk was a minus-4 for Carolina. … Evgeni Malkin, Zbynek Michalek and Brooks Orpik were a minus-4. …Brad Thiessen gave up all eight goals for Pittsburgh. … Toronto has lost nine straight at home (0-7-2) … Wayne Simmonds had 14 PIMs for the Flyers: hooking and slashing minors and a 10-minute misconduct in the same sequence. … Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were minus-3 for the Kings. … Finally, if you've not heard this anthem, please take an hour and listen.

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