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Greg Wyshynski

Sunday's Three Stars: Backes backs Blues; 'Hawks top Wings

Greg Wyshynski
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No. 1 Star: David Backes, St. Louis Blues

The Blues have bitter memories of the Vancouver Canucks knocking them out of the postseason last spring, and they've now outscored the 'Nucks 9-2 in their meetings this season after Sunday night's 3-1 win. Backes scored twice: On a power-play deflection and on a play in which he blew past Kevin Bieksa(notes) and beat Roberto Luongo(notes) (23 saves). Backes also had the line of the night about the Blues playing angry: "Maybe we should pretend every team kicked our dog before the game. I'm an animal advocate by the way ..."

No. 2 Star: Duncan Keith(notes), Chicago Blackhawks

Keith scored on the power play in the first and had a secondary assist on Dustin Byfuglien's(notes) second-period goal as the Blackhawks dominated the injury-riddled Detroit Red Wings, 3-0. Keith also helped lead a defense that limited Detroit to 20 shots on goal.

No. 3 Star: Shane O'Brien, Vancouver Canucks

Big ups to O'Brien, who scored his first regular-season goal of the season and first since his two-goal explosion on Nov. 8. 2007. (The defenseman did score one playoff goal last postseason. Clutch!)

Honorable mention: Cristobal Huet(notes) wasn't tested much, but he stopped 20 of 20 and earned his third shutout of the season ... Ty Conklin(notes) made 29 saves for the Blues in their road win. ... Keith Tkachuk(notes) and Brian Campbell(notes) also had goals for the winning teams.

Did you know?: The season-high crowd of 21,781 was the Blackhawks' 70th straight sellout. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: Andrew Ladd(notes) and Todd Bertuzzi(notes) both earned 10-minute misconducts late in the third period. ... The Red Wings lost the faceoff battle to Chicago, 29-16. ... Alex Burrows(notes) knocked the puck past Conklin with his skate in the third period. It was disallowed by the referee, and replay showed a kicking motion. But Coach Alain Vigneault wasn't buying it: "I looked at the replay and yes, Alex does turn his foot, it goes off his skate and then there is a forward motion. But not on the initial deflection."

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