Friday’s Three Stars: Little comes up big; Sabres loss puts them in ‘Embarrassing’ spot

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Florida mascot Stanley C. Panther gives in to his primal, feline urge to hunt.

No. 1 Star: Bryan Little, Winnipeg Jets

The Jets entered the third period versus the Boston Bruins leading by one, but the Bruins tied the game up less than a minute in. Thankfully, that's when Little got hot, scoring four minutes later to restore the one-goal lead, then putting the game out of reach with an insurance marker less than two minutes after that to give the Jets the 4-2 win. Blake Wheeler picked up assists on both Little tallies in addition to scoring a goal.

No. 2 Star: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

Datsyuk was incredible in the Wings' 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators, setting up a Johan Franzen goal to open the scoring midway through the first, then scoring the game-winner with five seconds to go after freezing Ryan Suter with a juke to the inside and beating Pekka Rinne high. The win extended the Wings' home winning streak to 22 games. Maybe the Predators would have seen a better fate if Hal Gill had made the trip from Montreal to Detroit faster, but they'll soon learn he doesn't move north-south all that quickly.

No. 3 Star: Ryan O'Reilly, Colorado Avalanche

O'Reilly had a hand in all 3 goals, helping to orchestrate tallies for Erik Johnson, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mark Olver the Avalanche knocked off the Edmonton Oilers 3-1. Landeskog and Olver added assists as well.

Honourable mention: Alex Semin was in on both third-period goals in the Washington Capitals' 2-1 comeback win over the Florida Panthers, setting up Alex Ovechkin to tie the game, then scoring the game-winner himself. Jose Theodore deserved better, making 39 saves to keep the Panthers in the game, but man, he looked bad on the Semin goal:

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... Martin Brodeur made 36 saves, then stopped Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in the shootout to give the New Jersey Devils the 3-2 win. But his best stop off Corey Perry was this sprawling pad stack:

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... Jussi Jokinen helped lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks, with an assist and a goal that turned out to be the game-winner... David Desharnais scored the shootout winner as the Montreal Canadiens knocked off the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. Oh, and speaking of goals, Scott Gomez got another one. He's now got two in his last 5 games.

Did you know? The Jets' win marked the first time this season they've won games on consecutive nights. They were previously 0-9 in the second night of back-to-backs this season.

Dishonourable mention: Ryan Getzlaf thought he had won the game in overtime for the Ducks, but this goal was overturned because he kicked it in. Right call?

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Semin's shot slipped right through his hands, which is unfortunate both as a thing that happened and as a sentence... The Sabres' loss, coupled with the Hurricanes' win, landed Buffalo in 15th place in the Eastern Conference to end the night. "Obviously, I'm very disappointed, embarrassed," Ruff said, when someone pointed this out. "We've dealt with a lot, but to be where we're at is a big disappointment."

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