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Ross McKeon

Wednesday's three stars: Samsonov turns on offense

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No. 1 star: Sergei Samsonov, Carolina Hurricanes
The shifty forward figured in the scoring of all three Carolina goals as the Hurricanes beat the visiting Atlanta Thrashers 3-1. Samsonov tied the game 1-1 at 19:35 of the first period and scored what proved to be the game winner at 16:49 of the second period on his seventh of the year. Accompanying his season-best three-point night was the fact Samsonov was a plus-2 with two shots on goal during 19:01 of ice time.

No. 2 star: Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
The rookie goaltender did it again, recording his third straight shutout and fifth overall since making his NHL debut in early November. Mason stopped all 27 shots the host Anaheim Ducks threw at him.

No. 3 star: Mike Comrie, New York Islanders
The veteran center scored two goals in the second period – the first to tie the game and the second to put the hosts ahead to stay – as the Islanders beat the Florida Panthers 4-2. Comrie produced a game-high seven shots on goal and had three takeaways during 21:28 of ice time.

Honorable mention: Jarome Iginla and Michael Cammalleri scored two goals and added three assists apiece as Calgary beat Edmonton in the battle of Alberta. ... Devin Setoguchi returned to the San Jose lineup after missing a game to attend his grandmother's funeral and scored both Sharks' goals. … Phoenix has earned at least a point in nine of its last 11 games and Peter Mueller scored two goals within 2:05 during Wednesday night's victory. … Defenseman Brent Burns scored Minnesota's game-winning goal in overtime. … Two goals from Loui Eriksson and three assists from Brad Richards led the Stars over the Devils.

Dishonorable mention: No such thing on New Year's Eve … Everybody now, "Should auld acquaintance be forgot …"

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