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Thursday’s Three Stars: McDonald stays hot; Mitchell’s beauty

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 Star: Andy McDonald, St. Louis Blues

Since returning from a concussion, McDonald now has 21 points in 19 games. His goal and two assists powered the Blues past the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 in the much-hyped first meeting between Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price since the June deal. Halak made 27 saves and Matt D'Agostini recorded two points as St. Louis won their third game in a row.

No. 2 Star: Cory Schneider, Vancouver Canucks

Schneider made 44 saves in regulation, including nine in overtime then stopped all three San Jose shooters in the shootout as the Canucks edged the Sharks 5-4. The win was Schneider's fifth in his last six games. The back-and-forth game saw three goals in the final 2:13 of the third period before Alex Burrows scored the only goal in the shootout to win it for Vancouver.

No. 3 Star: Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix Coyotes

In earning his sixth shutout of the year and 29th win, Bryzgalov stopped 39 Calgary shots as Phoenix beat the Flames 3-0. Brett MacLean, Eric Belanger and Shane Doan all scored for the Coyotes as they won for the first time in regulation since Feb. 19. The win puts Phoenix in a tie for fourth place with Calgary and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Honorable mention: Claude Giroux's 22nd goal late in the second period held up as the game-winner as Philadelphia edge Toronto 3-2. Brian Boucher made 27 saves as he Flyers increased their Eastern Conference lead to four points over the Washington Capitals ... Mikhail Grabovski found a creative way to score his 26th of the year. Dion Phaneuf's shot went off a Flyers' stick and then off Grabovski's visor and past Boucher:

Brad Boyes' third goal as a Sabre was the overtime winner as Buffalo got by Boston 4-3. Boyes also setup the Tim Connolly's tying goal early in the third period as the Sabres moved up to seventh in the Eastern Conference with the win ... Nick Spaling scored twice and Martin Erat and Joel Ward each had a goal and an assist as the Nashville Predators blanked Minnesota 4-0. Pekka Rinne made 19 saves for his sixth shutout of the season ... Erik Karlsson scored twice in a 3:38 span midway through the third period as Ottawa slipped by Florida 2-1. Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots for to improve to 6-3 since being traded to the Senators. Sergei Gonchar recorded an assist, his 600th in the NHL ... Joe Thornton's assist was his 400th NHL career helper ... Torrey Mitchell put his name in the "Goal of the Year" hat with this individual effort tonight:


Did you know? The Panthers played their league-leading 42nd one-goal game. They are 17-16-9 in those games. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: Two ejections were handed out tonight. First, Mike Komisarek was given five-minutes and a gamer for boarding Daniel Carcillo:

Next, Francis Lessard was handed five and a game for this charge on Scott Timmins:

Finally, NESN's Jack Edwards was not a fan of this boarding call on Zdeno Chara tonight:

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