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Wednesday's Three Stars: Kunitz's trick; no-goal controversy in Florida

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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No. 1 Star: Chris Kunitz(notes), Pittsburgh Penguins

The rout was on in Pittsburgh just seven seconds into the game. Evgeni Malkin's(notes) 15th was followed by four more first period goals for the Penguins en route to an 8-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Kunitz tallied his second career hat trick with two goals in the opening period and capped things off deflecting an Alex Goligoski(notes) shot with 11 seconds left in the second period. Goligoski himself had a four-point night a goal and three assists, while Kris Letang(notes) finished with three helpers to help Pittsburgh improve to 10-2-0 against the Southeast Division this season.

No. 2 Star: Mats Zuccarello(notes), New York Rangers

In his sixth NHL game, Zuccarello finally notched his first goal and it was the overtime winner in a 2-1 Rangers win over the Carolina Hurricanes:

No. 3 Star: Mike Ribeiro(notes), Dallas Stars

Dallas went 3-for-3 on the power play during their 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks and two of those goals came from Ribeiro, who extended his four-game point streak. Kari Lehtonen(notes) made 34 saves and Loui Eriksson(notes) and Brad Richards(notes) each had two points as the Stars remained third overall in the Western Conference.

Honorable mention: Behind 33 saves from Ondrej Pavelec(notes) and two goals by Rich Peverley(notes), the Atlanta Thrashers got by the Florida Panthers 3-2. Panthers forward Chris Higgins(notes) scored his 100th NHL goal and now has seven points in his past four games ... Roberto Luongo(notes) made 43 saves and Kevin Bieksa(notes) scored a goal and added an assist as Vancouver upended Calgary 4-1 to extend the Canucks' winning streak to seven games ... Patric Hornqvist(notes) scored in his third straight game and Pekka Rinne(notes) stopped 40 shots as Nashville edged Anaheim 2-1 ... A bit of bad luck for Viktor Stalberg(notes) as his penalty shot on Lehtonen rang off all three posts:

Did you know? Daniel Sedin(notes) scored the 10,000th goal in Vancouver Canucks history tonight.

Dishonorable mention: Dwayne Roloson(notes) (five goals allowed) and Dan Ellis(notes) (three) were each pulled during the game. Six Lightning skaters finished minus-3 ... Steven Stamkos(notes) took a penalty shot to forget ... Bryan McCabe(notes) thought he had the game-tying goal in the third period, until officials ruled the puck did not cross the goal line and the play was not reviewed.

You be the judge (rough video here):

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After the game, Florida head coach Peter DeBoer said, "I'm baffled as to why the referees, to make certain, wouldn't have gone to the penalty box and asked that they take a look at it or Toronto would have buzzed and taken a second look at it. They look at everything else. I got no explanation from them why, other than they said if it was close, Toronto would have buzzed them and they never got a buzz from Toronto."

NHL VP of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy(notes) told George Richards of the Miami Herald , "We still should have reviewed the play ... that was my error."

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