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Sunday’s Three Stars: Bruins clinch; Pens, Thrash win in OT

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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No. 1 Star: Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins

The rookie's rebound goal on the power play, with 3:43 left in regulation, gave the Bruins a 2-1 win and clinched a postseason spot for Boston. Marchand's 20th goal was his first in 13 games. Nathan Horton and Kris Versteeg had the other tallies.

No. 2 Star: Cory Schneider, Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks' backup keeper made 39 saves and is now 15-3-2 on the season, backstopping them to a 4-1 victory at the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets outshot Vancouver 25-12 through two periods, but Schneider maintained the lead until Henrik Sedin's power-play goal 3:36 into the third.

No. 3 Star: Alex Kovalev, Pittsburgh Penguins

The veteran forward helped steal possession of the puck and earned the primary assist on Ben Lovejoy's second-period tying goal, before later scoring the game-deciding goal in the shootout to give the Penguins a 2-1 victory -- their fourth straight win in the skills competition. James Neal scored again in the shootout to ice it, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 37 saves.

Honorable mention: Andrew Ladd had the game-winner in the shootout as the Atlanta Thrashers kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 5-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Blake Wheeler and Ben Maxwell had a goal and an assist each. It was Maxwell's first career goal. Marek Svatos scored twice for the Sens, including the game-tying tally with just over five minutes left in regulation. Craig Anderson made 43 saves in the loss. … Chris Higgins had two goals and an assist for the Canucks, while Mason Raymond had three assists. … Tim Thomas (27 saves) outdueled Brian Boucher (34 saves) in Philly.

Did you know? Tim Thomas improved to 10-2-2 against Philadelphia in his career. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: The Blue Jackets are 0 for 30 on the power play in their last nine games. … The Canucks lost defenseman Dan Hamhuis to a concussion during a collision with teammate Kevin Bieksa and Columbus's Rick Nash. … Colin Greening was a minus-3 for Ottawa. ... Tomas Vokoun turned the game over to Scott Clemmensen in overtime due to a back injury acting up. We don't want to say Clemmer was rattled by the Penguins, but … well, he had a bit of a drinking problem (via kylekebert on Twitter):

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