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Sunday’s Three Stars: Theodore, Halak shut the door; Richards leads Rangers

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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AP

Guillaume Desbiens's punch turns Matt Kassian into Walter Matthau during their Sunday night fight.

No. 1 Star: Jose Theodore, Florida Panthers

The Panthers needed this one, and Theodore gave it to them. Florida shut out the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-0, as Theodore made 34 saves to snap a 2-game losing skid. Tomas Fleischmann and Marcel Goc had the goals.

No. 2 Star: Brad Richards, New York Rangers

Richards' three-point night snapped a three-game losing streak for the Rangers, as they defeated the New York Islanders, 4-3 in overtime. Richards scored a power-play goal on an end-to-end rush in the first period; again on the power play in the second; and then earned the primary helper on Marian Gaborik's power-play goal in overtime, following a Travis Hamonic tripping penalty.

No. 3 Star: Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues

Halak made 33 saves, many of them stellar, in the Blues' 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Halak made 26 of those saves in the final two periods, picking up his fatigued teammates to win their fifth straight game. Patrik Berglund scored in the second and David Perron snapped a 1-1 tie with a third-period goal.

Honorable mention: James Neal had a goal and two assists, while Evgeni Malkin had three assists, as the Pittsburgh Penguins rocked the Boston Bruins on NBC, 5-2. Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves. David Krejci scored both Bruins goals. … Michal Neuvirth made Brooks Laich's shorthanded goal stand up until Mathieu Perreault added third-period insurance, as the Washington Capitals won their third straight, 2-0 over the Toronto Maple Leafs. … Curtis Glencross and Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist each, as the Calgary Flames outlasted the Minnesota Wild, 4-3. Stick-tap to Sven Baertschi for his first NHL goal. Erik Christensen scored twice for Minnesota. … Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists, including an assist on the game-winner, as the New Jersey Devils defeated Sergei Bobrovsky and the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1. Zach Parise scored No. 28 while Claude Giroux scored No. 25 for the Flyers. … Mike Richards scored the lone goal of a six-round shootout, as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2. Jonathan Quick made 35 saves, and Jeff Carter scored his 19th. Patrick Kane scored No. 18 for the Blackhawks. … John Tavares (28) and Matt Moulson (29) scored for the Islanders.

Fight of the Night: Micheal Haley and Stu Bickel are light heavyweights but had a nice, evenly matched throwdown.

Did you know? Pittsburgh's winning streak is the franchise's longest since 12 straight during the 2010-11 season. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: Tim Thomas was chased by the Penguins, after giving up three goals on 10 shots in the first period. Then it was Marty Turco time. … Zdeno Chara was a minus-3. … There was one minor penalty called in the Flames/Wild game, for too many men on the ice. OK then. … From the AP: "Philadelphia's Jody Shelley tried to start a scrum, shoving New Jersey's Cam Janssen before a faceoff at 4:54 of the second. The Devils didn't bite and Shelley wound up spending 12 minutes in the penalty box with a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and a misconduct." ... Finally, a fight after a clean hit by Kevin Shattenkirk. OK, not really a "fight" ... but the Blues defenseman was given a roughing double minor and an elbowing minor.

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