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Wednesday's Three Stars: Semin's three not a trick, but fuels Caps

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 Star: Alexander Semin(notes), Washington Capitals

The Russian sniper didn't wait long to open the scoring at Verizon Center by scoring eight seconds into Washington's game against the New York Islanders. Semin would later tie the game at three in the second period and then scored Washington's first goal in the shootout en route to the 5-4 win. Semin also led all players with 11 shots on goal.

No. 2 Star: Ryan Miller(notes), Buffalo Sabres

The possible No. 1 goaltender for the United States heading into the Vancouver Olympics stopped 28 Edmonton shots in a 3-1 win for the NHL's second-ranked defense. After Clarke MacArthur's(notes) game-misconduct for his hit on Liam Reddox(notes) of the Oilers, the Sabres managed to kill off a five-minute power play, allowing just two shots and blocking two others to preserve the victory. Miller recorded his 10th win of the season and lowered his league-leading goals-against average to 1.82.

No. 3 Star: Niklas Kronwall(notes), Detroit Red Wings

Kronwall made Columbus pay twice on the power play as the Red Wings rolled to a 9-1 win over the Blue Jackets. Making the most of its power-play opportunities, Detroit romped thanks to a pair from Kronwall to improve to 5-1-1 in its past seven games. The win was a measure of revenge against Columbus, which embarrassed the Red Wings 8-2 last season before Detroit swept the Blue Jackets in the opening round of the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Honorable Mention: Tuomo Ruutu(notes) supplied all the offense for Carolina with two goals in its 5-2 loss to Los Angeles ... Anze Kopitar's(notes) two assists increased his league-leading point total to 30, seven ahead of Alex Ovechkin(notes) ... Semyon Varlamov(notes) was fantastic in relief of Jose Theodore(notes), stopping 24 of 25 shots he faced in regulation and overtime and then 10 of 11 in the shootout ... Despite the shootout loss, Dwayne Roloson(notes) did his best to keep the Islanders in the game with Washington, ending up with 37 saves for the second straight game at Verizon Center ... Tim Connolly(notes) had a hand in two of Buffalo's three goals, including Steve Montador's(notes) game-winner in the second period ... Also netting two goals for the Red Wings was the "Afrogator" himself, Justin Abdelkader. Detroit's rout also saw every skater end the game as a plus and Jimmy Howard(notes) record his second win of the season ... Ken Hitchcock would have liked to have seen a better performance out of his team as he coached his 1,000th game in the NHL ... Martin Brodeur(notes) allowed just one goal and made 31 saves in New Jersey's 3-1 win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks ... Jamie Langenbrunner(notes) played his 900th game in the win ... Colorado's Craig Anderson(notes) made 37 saves, including four in overtime, but couldn't stop Chicago's Patrick Sharp(notes) in the shootout as the Blackhawks prevailed 3-2.

Did You Know?: The Oilers are now 1-7 when they fail to score first.

Dishonorable Mention: Columbus' Steve Mason(notes) had a forgettable night, letting in three goals in the game's first 7:32 before being pulled for Mathieu Garon(notes). Hitchcock decided to put the reigning Calder Trophy winner back in goal at the start of the second period and watched him allow five more goals ... Manny Legace(notes) made 26 saves in his debut for Carolina, but also allowed five goals to extend the Hurricanes' winless streak to 13 games ... Carolina's offense went missing during an 18-minute span when the 'Canes went without a shot on goal ... Jose Theodore was chased early by the Islanders, allowing three goals on five shots in the opening 6:54 of the first period ... When it comes to power plays, Anaheim (0-for-6) and Edmonton (1-for-7) wish they could have cashed in on some valuable time with the extra skater ... The Avalanche had no luck in the face-off dot, winning just 19 of 54 draws.

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