Puck Daddy - NHL

No. 1 Star: Thomas Vanek(notes), Buffalo Sabres

After a pre-game ceremony honoring Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson(notes) for hitting the 1000 game mark in his NHL career, Vanek scored four times to spoil the party in a 5-2 win for the Sabres. Scoring twice in the first and twice in the second, Vanek helped end the Senators' nine-game winning streak over Buffalo. The goal that gave Vanek the hat trick came on a penalty shot and he'd add his fourth on the power play five minutes later. Ryan Miller(notes) made 28 saves for his 41st win of the season and Derek Roy(notes) had a three-point night to help set up the season finale on Sunday with the New Jersey. The winner clinches the second seed in the Eastern Conference and the loser third seed.

No. 2 Star: Daniel/Henrik Sedin(notes), Vancouver Canucks

Do you think the Canucks were trying to help Henrik Sedin overtake Alex Ovechkin(notes) for the NHL's scoring lead? Everything the Sedins touched on Saturday night turned into goals. Henrik set a Vancouver franchise record with his 112th point thanks to four assists on the night. Not surprising to anyone, three of Henrik's four helpers came on each of brother Daniel's goals on the night. Daniel finished the season with a career high 85 points and his final goal was rather redonkulous:

No. 3 Star: Steven Stamkos(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning

History was made in Tampa as Stamkos scored twice in a 4-3 shootout win over Florida to reach the 50-goal mark in just his second season in the NHL. He becomes the third-youngest player at 20 years, 2 months and 3 days to reach 50 goals behind Wayne Gretzky and Jimmy Carson. Stamkos also tied Ovechkin for the NHL goal scoring lead heading into the final day of the season. 

Honorable mention: In possibly his final game in the NHL, Mike Modano(notes) received a rousing send off from the city he began his career in, Minnesota along with a video tribute during the game. After Dallas's 4-3 shootout win, Modano was named the game's No. 1 star and he stepped back onto the Xcel Energy Center ice sporting a Minnesota North Stars jersey, much to the delight of the crowd ...Boston clinched a playoff spot with a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes thanks to three shorthanded goals in 64 seconds on the same penalty kill, both NHL records. In the win, Steve Begin(notes) scored for his 100th career point ... Mike Comrie(notes) scored twice, Tom Gilbert(notes) chipped in three points and Devyn Dubnyk was busy making 52 saves as Edmonton beat Los Angeles 4-3 in a shootout ... In a 7-1 rout of the New York Islanders that clinched the Atlantic Division title (thanks to a Pittsburgh loss at Atlanta), Patrick Elias scored twice and Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) and Zach Parise(notes) contributed three points. Travis Zajac(notes) added three helpers as the Devils won their second straight division title ... The Montreal Canadiens clinched a playoff spot by forcing overtime with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Dion Phaneuf(notes) notched the OT winner by scoring for the second consecutive game. Leafs rookie Christian Hanson(notes) scored his first two goals of the season, including a shorthanded tally early in the third period to tie the game ... After the game, both teams shook the hand of Dan Marouelli who was refereeing his final game in the NHL ... Johan Hedberg(notes) shutout the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 with 33 saves and Evander Kane(notes) gained a whole new set of fans with his knockout of Matt Cooke. The loss clinched fourth place in the East for the Penguins and sets up an opening round series with the Ottawa Senators; the third time in four years the two will meet in the postseason ... Pekka Rinne(notes) stopped 33 St. Louis shots in a 2-1 Nashville win that gives them 100 points for the season ... Logan Couture(notes) beat Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) on his first career shootout attempt to give San Jose a 3-2 win over Phoenix. The Sharks sit atop the Western Conference two points ahead of Chicago, who have one game remaining. If the Blackhawks beat Detroit on Sunday, they'll clinch the top seed.

Did you know? Buffalo is the NHL's only undefeated team at 30-0-0 when leading after two periods.

Dishonorable mention: The Kings head into the playoffs with a struggling starting goaltender. Jonathan Quick(notes) is 0-3-2 in his last five decisions ... Two days after allowing four goals on 10 shots, Islanders goaltender Martin Biron(notes) let in seven New Jersey goals on 37 shots.

Related Articles

Puck Daddy

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Related Photo Gallery

Y! Sports Blog