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Wednesday’s Three Stars: Bertuzzi, Cole shine; Reaves boarding controversy

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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AP

No. 1 Star: Todd Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings

Bertuzzi had the second helper on both of Johan Franzen's third period goals to answer the St. Louis Blues' two tallies. But he's the top star because of his wicked backhander that beat Brian Elliott for the lone goal of the shootout, giving Detroit a 3-2 victory and sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference.

No. 2 Star: Erik Cole, Montreal Canadiens

Cole was one of the most maligned signings last summer. With his two goals in a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Cole now has 34 tallies on the season, four better than his previous career high. He broke a 1-1 tie and then scored on the power play to give the Habs a crucial two-goal cushion.

No. 3 Star: Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings

The Mule had one goal in his last six games, but answered the bell when the Wings needed him — scoring two goals in 2 minutes and 15 seconds during the third period to tie the St. Louis Blues. Pavel Datsyuk had the primary assist on both goals, setting up the second one brilliantly.

Honorable mention: Cole's linemate Max Pacioretty had two third-period goals and an assist. … Vinny Lecavalier scored his first goal since Feb. 9. … David Desharnais had two assists, while Peter Budaj had his third assist of the season. … David Perron had an unassisted shorthanded goal during a Detroit major power play. Andy McDonald had the other tally for the Blues. … Jimmy Howard (27 saves) was perfect in the shootout.

Did you know? The Red Wings have over 100 points for the 12th consecutive season.

Dishonorable mention: Steven Stamkos had several good chances but couldn't convert, leaving him two goals short of 60 with one game remaining. … Marty St. Louis was a minus-3. … Franzen got away with roughing up David Backes at the end of the second period, including an apparent high stick; Ryan Reaves, meanwhile, was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for this boarding call on Brad Stuart. Did he deserve it? Ken Hitchcock didn't like the call.

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