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Sunday’s Three Stars: Bryz blanks Caps; historic win for Isles’ Nilsson

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 Star: Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers

Bryz earned his 26th career shutout and third of the year by making 34 saves and shutting out the Washington Capitals 1-0. Eric Wellwood's second of the season in the second period was the only tally of the game not long after Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette called one of his famous timeouts. And stop asking Bryz how he's playing.

No. 2 Star: Anders Nilsson, New York Islanders

Nilsson made 24 saves in his second career start and Kyle Okposo scored the game's only goal as the Islanders blanked the New Jersey Devils 1-0. According to the AP, the win was historic for Nilsson as it was the first time in Islanders history that a goaltender earned their first NHL win with a shutout. The victory puts the Islanders five points behind the Winnipeg Jets for eighth in the Eastern Conference.

No. 3 Star: Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche

Newly-acquired Jamie McGinn recorded his first multi-goal game 8:25 into the first period and Varlamov made 30 saves as the Avalanche downed the Minnesota Wild 2-0. Peter Mueller and Stefan Elliott each recorded assists on McGinn's goals. The shutout was Varlamov's fourth of the season and eighth of his career. One of Varly's saves came on the doorstep, robbing Dany Heatley of a goal:

Honorable mention: Derek Stepan's goal 39 seconds after David Krejci tied the game ended up the game winner as the New York Rangers edged the Boston Bruins 4-3 in an afternoon matinee at Madison Square Garden. Marian Gaborik scored his 32nd of the year and Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves for his 31st win ... Just 2:30 into his first NHL game, Lane MacDermid, son of former Hartford Whaler Paul, scrapped with Mike Rupp ... Devils forward Petr Sykora played his 1,000th NHL game ... Patrick Kane's goal late in the second period would stand as the decisive tally as the Chicago Blackhawks got by the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 for their third straight win. Ray Emery stopped 23 shots and Patrick Sharp scored a goal and added an assist ... Brad Stuart's assist was his 300th NHL point ... Loui Eriksson scored a shorthanded goal, assisted on Michael Ryder's 28th of the year and later potted Dallas' second tally in the shootout as the Stars nipped the Calgary Flames 3-2 to put themselves even on points with the Phoenix Coyotes atop the Pacific Division. Kari Lehtonen made 36 saves for his fifth win in six starts. Here's Eriksson's goal as described by the one and only Daryl Reaugh:

After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Florida Panthers roared back with four unanswered goals to defeat the Ottawa Senators 4-2. Jack Skille netted two points, including the insurance marker late in the third period, while Krys Barch put home his second of the season on a breakaway:

Did you know? The Bruins have lost nine of 11 games against the Rangers, including five straight.

Fight of the Night Milan Lucic vs. Brandon Prust:

Dishonorable mention: Jimmy Howard left the game after the first period with what the Red Wings were calling a "lower-body" injury. Detroit GM Ken Holland said Howard is day-to-day ... Washington has been shutout in back-to-back games at home.