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Greg Wyshynski

Sunday's 3 Stars: Pests are best in Rangers, Canucks wins

Greg Wyshynski
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No. 1 Star: Ryan Kesler(notes), Vancouver Canucks

Kesler answered Mike Ribeiro's(notes) first-period power-play goal with one of his own, and then emphatically beat Marty Turco(notes) for Vancouver's second goal of the shootout to help give the Canucks their 4-3 SO win at home -- after blowing a lead late in the third to Dallas (See Star No. 3).

No. 2 Star: Sean Avery(notes), New York Rangers

As only Avery can, the Rangers pest set up his team's first two goals in a 3-0 shutout of the road-weary Anaheim Ducks. Making his season debut after a knee injury, Avery goaded Ryan Whitney(notes) into placing him in a headlock and earning a roughing call; Ales Kotalik(notes) scored on the ensuing power play to break a frustrating third-period tie. He later started the play that led to Artem Anisimov's(notes) tally on the power play. Avery celebrated Anisimov's first NHL goal by yapping at Scott Niedermayer. Vintage stuff.

No. 3 Star: Jamie Benn(notes), Dallas Stars

There are two types of homecomings to British Columbia: Complete flameouts that leave a player punching through the locker room wall, and Benn's much happier return to his native province. The rookie scored at 18:27 of the third with Marty Turco skating to the bench, tying the game against the Canucks and eventually giving Dallas a point on the road.

Honorable Mention: Stephen Valiquette(notes) made 18 saves, including 11 in the second period, for his third fourth career shutout. ... Jean-Sebastien Giguere(notes) made 35 saves in the Ducks' loss to the Rangers. ... Brad Richards(notes) of the Stars scored a beauty against Roberto Luongo(notes), faking a journey behind the net and then tucking the puck behind the out-of-position Vancouver goalie. ... Alex Burrows(notes) scored his third and Willie Mitchell(notes) his second for Vancouver.

Did You Know?: The Rangers are now 6-2-0 against the Ducks since 2002.

Dishonorable Mention: Burrows and Henrik Sedin(notes) played well, but their lazy back-checking led to Benn's tying goal late in the third. ... The Ducks managed one shot on goal in the first period, thanks to the Rangers' forecheck and their own tired play. ... Turco is still seeking his first win of the season.

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