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Sean Leahy

Thursday's Three Stars: Huselius, Phillips pair up in victories

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 star, Kristian Huselius(notes), Columbus Blue Jackets

Huselius used special teams to his advantage in Columbus' 4-1 win over Dallas. His shorthanded goal with one second left in the first period and power-play tally midway through the second sunk the Stars. He helped open the scoring by assisting on Rick Nash's(notes) 14th goal of the season in the first. Steve Mason(notes) made 25 saves as the Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to three and have now won five of their last six.

No. 2 star, Chris Phillips(notes), Ottawa Senators

It was a memorable 800th career NHL game for the long-time Senators defenseman. Two goals in 2:03 in the third period were enough to chase Marc-Andre Fleury(notes) in a 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Heading into tonight Phillips had scored just once in 18 games. It was a confidence-boosting win for the Sens who will play tough conference games in the next week against Buffalo, Washington, New Jersey, and Boston.

No. 3 star, Cristobal Huet(notes), Chicago Blackhawks

The surging Blackhawks put forth a strong effort against Calgary in a 7-1 rout of the Flames. Huet stopped 27 shots for his 10th win of the season and fifth in a row. Chicago's win in Calgary was the first game of a six-game western road trip. His performance tonight against the Flames was a measure of revenge for Huet after Calgary chased him early in their first meeting of the season back October 13th. The Blackhawks would come back from a 5-0 first period deficit to win 6-5 in overtime.

Honorable mention: Congrats to Atlanta's Nik Antropov(notes) who finally scored his first goal of the season after spending the first month and a half collecting 16 assists ... Michael Ryder's(notes) pair along with Patrice Bergeron's(notes) shootout winner were enough for the Bruins to top the Thrashers. In the loss, Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) and the resurgent Maxim Afinogenov(notes) combined for five points which gives them 19 points together in Atlanta's last three games ... Tuukka Rask(notes) stopped three Thrasher shootout attempts to secure the victory ... The Blackhawks went 3-for-5 on the power-play with Kris Versteeg(notes) popping in two of them in Chicago's win over the Flames ... Pascal Leclaire's(notes) 25 saves, Mike Fisher's(notes) three helpers and Milan Michalek's(notes) 100th career NHL goal helped pile on the Penguins ... Who would have thought that two of the worst teams in the NHL at the moment would have provided us with such an entertaining hockey game? Carolina's 6-5 triumph saw five goals in the third period, including two in the final 30 seconds as Toronto blew an early 3-0 lead. Tim Gleason's(notes) two goals and Tuomo Ruutu's(notes) four assists were part of a wild affair in Raleigh. Ian White(notes) had a busy evening (more on that tomorrow) as his goal with half a minute left in the game gave the Maple Leafs a 5-4 lead until Erik Cole's(notes) response with three seconds remaining sent things to overtime. White also sent Cole flying early in the third period with a beauty of a hip check ... Road warriors no more, the New Jersey Devils lost their second straight away from home in a 3-2 shootout loss to Nashville. Martin Brodeur(notes) and Pekka Rinne(notes) both made 26 saves while Zach Parise(notes) and Jason Arnott(notes) each scored twice ... Ryan Getzlaf(notes) and Teemu Selanne(notes) each contributed a goal and two assists in Anaheim's 4-3 win over Tampa Bay. Corey Perry(notes) extended his points streak to 13 games. ... Scott Niedermayer(notes) and Erik Johnson(notes) were overtime heroes tonight in victories by the Ducks and St. Louis Blues. Johnson's end-to-end effort for St. Louis gave the Blues a 3-2 win over Phoenix ... Steven Stamkos'(notes) acrobatic display won goal of the night honors:



Did you know?: Chicago head coach Joel Quennville is now tied with Glen Sather on the all-time NHL wins list with 496.

Dishonorable mention: Marc-Andre Fleury was not at his best tonight as he allowed five goals against the Ottawa Senators after they opened the floodgates in the third period in their 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins ... After tying things at one early in the second period, the Calgary Flames proceeded to allow six straight Chicago. Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) was pulled before the third period after allowing six goals in 24 shots ... Columbus and Dallas combined for 57 first period penalty minutes including unsportsmanlike calls against Steve Mason and Marty Turco(notes) when the two almost got into a tussle. The lasting moment from the game will be James Neal's(notes) hit on Derek Dorsett(notes) and the frightening way the young winger fell to the ice. Neal will have a phone hearing with the NHL in the morning:

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