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Tuesday’s Three Stars: Hunter, Muller lose debuts; Kipper shines

No. 1 Star: Miikka Kiprusoff(notes), Calgary Flames

The Flames goalkeeper earned his 41st career shutout with 26 saves, making defenseman Derek Smith's(notes) first NHL goal stand up in a 1-0 win over the Nashville Predators. He was in Beast Mode down the stretch, stopping five Predators shots on a power play with less than five minutes in the game.

No. 2 Star: Brad Richards(notes), New York Rangers

Heck of a game between the Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, with fights and scoring and crappy officiating. Richards assisted on goals by Ryan Callahan(notes) and Marian Gaborik(notes) (the game-winner) and sniped his ninth of the season, as New York defeated the Pens, 4-3.

No. 3 Star: Cory Schneider(notes), Vancouver Canucks

Remember, it's a good problem to have: Cory "Not the Starter" Schneider stopped 47 shots for his fifth straight win, including 22 in the final period, as the Canucks defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-1. Daniel Sedin(notes), David Booth(notes). Ryan Kesler(notes) and Alex Burrows had the goals. For Kesler, it was his third goal in four games.

Honorable mention: T.J. Oshie(notes) and Matt D'Agostini(notes) scored and Capitals nemesis Jaroslav Halak(notes) made 18 saves to spoil Dale Hunter's debut for the Washington Capitals, 2-1. Nicklas Backstrom(notes) scored for the Caps, on a nice feed from Alex Ovechkin(notes). … The Florida Panthers defeated Kirk Muller in his debut as Carolina Hurricanes coach, 3-1. Shawn Matthias(notes) scored twice in the third period, the first coming with 3:19 left. Tomas Fleischmann(notes) had the other goal and Jose Theodore(notes) made 26 saves. … Jeff Skinner(notes) scored for Carolina, with Eric Staal(notes) getting an assist. … Back and forth game between the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets. Milan Michalek(notes) and Evander Kane(notes) both have two goals. So did Zack Smith(notes), whose sixth of the season on the power play in the third period put the Sens up for good, winning 6-4. Craig Anderson(notes) made 39 saves. Chris Phillips(notes) was a plus-4 … Ray Whitney(notes) had a goal and two assists, as the Phoenix Coyotes thumped the Chicago Blackhawks in the Windy City, 4-1. Mike Smith(notes) made 24 saves before losing this shutout with 43 seconds left on a Patrick Sharp(notes) goal. … All hail Al Montoya(notes), who was brilliant in the New York Islanders' 2-1 win at the Buffalo Sabres. Matt Moulson(notes) and Brian Rolston(notes) had the goals, with Jochen Hecht(notes) scoring for the home team. Montoya made 30 saves, including a couple on this sequence:

Fight of the Night: There seems to be a little animosity between Tyler Kennedy(notes) and Sean Avery(notes), who got it right the second time.


Did you know? The Capitals announced the first change to Hunter's staff, with Jim Johnson hired as an assistant to replace Bob Woods. Johnson was the head coach of the AHL's Norfolk Admirals for 39 games in 2009-10. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: Corey Crawford(notes) was pulled at 45:02 by Chicago, after giving up four goals on 21 shots. … Andrew Ladd(notes) and Nikita Nikitin(notes) were a minus-4. Niklas Hjalmarsson(notes) and Jared Cowen(notes) were a minus-3. ... Hey, wasn't Dale Hunter supposed to give his star players more ice time? Alex Ovechkin played 16:46 and Alex Semin played 14:37. … Finally, scary scenes in Calgary and Winnipeg. Flames defensemen Chris Butler(notes) was struck in the face with a puck, but returned for the next period. Defenseman Mark Giordano(notes), however, took a puck off the ankle and didn't return. Senators forward Nikita Filatov(notes) left the game in the first period after he was hit in the face by Eric Fehr's(notes) skate, suffering a broken nose.

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