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Greg Wyshynski

Wednesday's Three Stars: Weiss' trick; Ballard strikes again

Greg Wyshynski
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No. 1 star: Stephen Weiss(notes), Florida Panthers

Crazy game, crazy good effort from the Panthers forward, as Weiss scored a hat trick in regulation and then the shootout winner in Florida's 6-5 victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche and ex-goalie Craig Anderson(notes) (and eventually Peter Budaj(notes)). Weiss scored on a deflection on the power play, a rebound goal 4-on-4 and a wrist shot from the slot to make it a 3-1 game at the time. His shootout goal, beating Budaj, made him just 3-for-17 in the skills competition.

No. 2 Star: Guillaume Latendresse(notes), Minnesota Wild

Andrew Ebbett(notes) scored the game-winner in overtime, but Montreal castoff Latendresse had an outstanding game in the Wild's 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators. His defensive play in the neutral zone helped set up his nifty goal in the first period; his second effort after a save by Pekka Rinne(notes) (22 saves) set up Ebbett's overtime tally. Overall, he played 17:13 for Minnesota, one of the highest totals among its forwards in the game.

No. 3 Star: Roberto Luongo(notes), Vancouver Canucks

Great when he needed to be, Luongo stopped 22 New Jersey Devils shots in the final two periods and 27 for the game, winning his Team Canada duel with Martin Brodeur 5-2 and allowing the media to overanalyze the importance of a regular-season game's impact on the 2010 Games.

Honorable mention: Marco Sturm(notes) scored two goals and Tim Thomas(notes) stopped a season-high 39 shots as the Boston Bruins beat the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1. ... Jason Arnott(notes) had two goals and an assist for the Predators. ... Daniel Sedin(notes) had a goal and an assist and Alex Burrows(notes) scored his seventh for the Canucks. ... Matt Duchene(notes) had two goals for the Avalanche.

Did you know?: Marc Savard's(notes) goal for the Boston Bruins was his 200th in the NHL.

Dishonorable mention: With a nation's spotlight on him, Martin Brodeur(notes) gave up five goals to the Canucks. ... Mike Mottou and Colin White(notes) were both minus-3, as was Jordin Tootoo(notes) for the Predators. ... Finally, Craig Anderson had stopped 39 shots against his former team until he was injured in overtime, banging his head against the goal post as a Florida player slid into him. But it wasn't just any Florida player; it was goalies'-best-friend Keith Ballard(notes), in his first game after the infamous Vokoun stick-foul:

Ballard didn't speak to the media after the game. Bryan McCabe did: "He wasn't running the goalie ... He either lost a (skate) edge or was hit. He hit him for sure, but didn't mean to. He was on his butt. How can you stop?"

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