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Sunday’s Three Stars: Perry tricks Blue Jackets; another shutout for Halak

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 Star: Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks improved to 12-3-3 since the turn of the year thanks to Perry's fifth career hat trick during a 5-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The trick was Perry's second against the Blue Jackets this year.

Anaheim took advantage of their four power play opportunities cashing in on three of them. Ryan Getzlaf chipped in three assists and Jonas Hiller stopped 24 shots for his 19th win.

No. 2 Star: Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues

Lately, it hasn't been a Halak start without a shutout. The Blues netminder recorded his fifth shutout in his last 10 starts with a 3-0 blanking of the San Jose Sharks. Alex Pietrangelo scored twiced and assisted on David Perron's sixth goal in four games as St. Louis improved to 3-0 against San Jose this season.

No. 3 Star: Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings

It didn't come easy, but the Red Wings tied the NHL record for most consecutive wins at home at 20 bouncing back from two 1-goal deficits with a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Zetterberg scored and set up two others, including Johan Franzen's game-winner 52 seconds into the third period to help give Joey MacDonald (26 saves) his third straight win.

Honorable mention: Blues forward Andy McDonald returned from an October concussion that saw him miss 51 games. He played 16:13 and recorded an assist ... The New York Rangers won for the sixth time in eight games dispatching the Washington Capitals 3-2. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 24 shots and Brandon Prust's shorthanded tally early in third period stood as the game-winner. The goal was Prust's first in 48 games ... Florida got a pair of points each from Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann, while Jose Theodore made 26 saves in his first start in almost a month as the Panthers downed the New York Islanders 4-1. Panthers defenseman Tyson Strachan scored his first NHL goal in his 75th career game ... Bouncing back from back-to-back defeats, Jordan Nolan and Dwight King each scored their first NHL goals as the Los Angeles Kings doubled up the Dallas Stars 4-2 ... Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz each had a goal and two assists, and Evgeni Malkin scored his 31st and 32nd goals of the season as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2. Brent Johnson made 21 saves for his first win since Dec. 3. James Neal recorded three assists to match his career-high in points with 55 ... In the loss, Tampa's Steve Downie scored the first two goals of the game 11 seconds apart in the first period.

Did you know? Nicklas Lidstrom played in his 1,550th NHL game tonight. He now has played in more games than any NHL player who has played for only one team. (Ansar Khan, MLive.com)

Dishonorable mention: Lubomir Visnovsky got into a scrap with Derick Brassard and was given a game misconduct for not having his jersey tied down. Afterwards, he told Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, "I never fight. I don't tie up the jersey because I never think I'm going to fight. Maybe I start to tie it up." ... Columbus Dispatch photographer Kyle Robertson Tweeted that after Perry's hat trick, a Ducks fan tossed a hat onto the ice at Nationwide Arena and was later moved from his seat.

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