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Tuesday’s Three Stars: Hedberg blanks Sens; Hemsky, Neal net hat tricks

Harrison Mooney
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Chris Mason (AP)

Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Chris Mason does an impression of his defence.

No. 1 Star: James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins shook off the weekend loss to the Flyers and returned to their recent steamrolling ways, giving the Winnipeg Jets the once-over in an 8-4 victory. Neal gets the first star nod for his hat trick plus assist, but it's worth noting that it's a probably whole lot easier to make it rain ball caps when you've got Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin feeding you gold all night. Crosby had four assists while Malkin had another ho-hum five-point night, with two goals and an assist on all three Neal tallies. His first goal was the 200th of his career:

No. 2 Star: Ales Hemsky, Edmonton Oilers

Did Alex Radulov destroy the Nashville Predators' chemistry just by being on the same continent? There is no evidence that he didn't. Either way, the Oilers, and Hemsky in particular, were unstoppable Tuesday, handing the Predators a 6-3 loss. Hemsky scored three goals in a 20-minute span for the first hat trick of his NHL career before adding an assist on Sam Gagner's late empty-netter. Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves in the victory.

No. 3 Star: Johan Hedberg, New Jersey Devils

Both Hedberg and Ben Bishop faced 34 shots in Ottawa Tuesday, but the Moose was perfect, stopping them all to give the Devils the 1-0 win. He was especially good in the first period, standing up to 15 shots -- including an Erik Condra penalty shot -- to hold the game scoreless. Ilya Kovalchuk's second period power-play goal, his 31st marker of the season and the 400th of his career, stood as the winner.

Honorable mention: 35 saves for Scott Clemmensen in the Florida Panthers' big 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, which keeps Florida two points back of Boston for second in the East and five points up on Washington for the Southeast Division lead ... Matt Moulson had two goals, John Tavares had three assists, and P.A. Parenteau had a goal and two assists in the New York Islanders' 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. And yet, the prettiest goal of the night involved none of them. It was David Ullstrom's, on a sweet, no-look pass from Michael Grabner:

No one's talking about the Jets players after their loss, but Bryan Little reached 20 goals for just the second time in his career in a two-goal performance ... Duncan Keith reached 40 points for the fourth consecutive season with four assists en route to a 5-1 drubbing of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The only goal he was left out on was Patrick Sharp's 29th of the season in the first period, but don't worry -- he picked up an assist on Sharp's 30th less than a minute into the third. Marian Hossa picked up his 900th point in the win ... nine points for the line of Michael Ryder, Loui Eriksson, and Mike Ribeiro, who combined for all three goals in the Dallas Stars' 4-3 shootout victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. Two goals and an assist for Ryder, one and two for Erikkson, and three assists for Ribeiro, who also scored the shootout winner ... Matt Stajan scored his fifth goal in seven games, but it wasn't enough as Paul Statsny and David Jones combined for two goals, one to tie the game and send it to overtime, and another to win it 2-1 once there ... Mike Richards led the way with a shorthanded goal and two assists in the Los Angeles Kings' 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks, who allowed 41 shots on Antti Niemi...

Did you know? According to Daniel Tolensky, 155 points have been awarded this season via shootouts. Not awesome.

Dishonorable mention: The Maple Leafs were never even close against the Islanders, mustering only 14 shots. Their last win at home was February 6th ...  Shane Doan is definitely gonna get suspended for this ... John Moore was on the ice for all three of Chicago's even-strength goals in the first period ... and finally, classic snack goal surrendered by Corey Crawford in Columbus. (A snack goal is a goal surrendered by a goaltender in his way to a shutout during a blowout. Rather than post the goose egg, he allows one measly goal within the final 10 minutes, so as to prevent the opponent from being too hungry next time. )

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