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Tuesday’s Three Stars: Gaborik boosts Rangers; Malkin piles points

No. 1 Star: Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers

Gaborik passed the 600-point plateau in his career with his first goal of the night early in the third period and added to his total with an empty-netter to seal a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Gaborik ended with a 3-point night with an assist coming on an Artem Anisimov goal in the second period. Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves as the Rangers snapped New Jersey's four-game win streak. Derek Stepan recorded three assists.

No. 2 Star: Erik Condra, Ottawa Senators

Heading into the third period even at one, Condra scored twice, including the go-ahead goal and later the empty net insurance marker as the Senators beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. Craig Anderson made 22 saves and Erik Karlsson added a goal and an assist. Making his season debut, Kyle Turris assisted on Condra's first goal and played 16:10.

No. 3 Star: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

Malkin remained on fire assisting on all three Pittsburgh goals during a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. He now has a six-game points streak and 15 points over that stretch to move into a four-way tie atop the NHL's leaderboard. According to the AP, Malkin was 20th in scoring on Dec. 13th.

Honorable mention: Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata each scored and assisted on the others' goal as the Phoenix Coyotes edged the Florida Panthers 2-1. Stephen Weiss had a penalty shot with 24.5 seconds left in the third period and came this close to tying things:

Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin each scored for the Washington Capitals and Michael Neuvirth made 20 stops in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators. Nicklas Backstrom chipped in two points. Mike Knuble played his 1,000th NHL game ... P.A. Parenteau scored in regulation and netted the shootout clincher as the New York Islanders got by the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves in relief of Al Montoya, who left the game after the first period after colliding with Evander Kane:

Jarome Iginla assisted on Curtis Glencross' 11th goal of the season in the first period and then snapped a 1-1 tie with No. 497 of his career as the Calgary Flames sent the Minnesota Wild to their fifth loss in a row with a 2-1 win.

Did you know? "First time since Oct. 30, 2010 that Ovechkin, Backstrom & Semin have scored in the same game." - @BenRaby31

Dishonorable mention: Mike Smith left the game with what's being called a lower-body injury. Jason LaBarbera stopped all eight shots he faced in relief ... Cam Janssen needs to line his hits up better next time:

Photo credit: Getty Images

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