Saturday’s Three Stars: Elliott blanks Sharks; Lucic spurs comeback

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No. 1 Star: Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues

Elliott made 24 saves, all of them exceedingly necessary, as the St. Louis Blues held off the San Jose Sharks for a 1-0 win. It was the 13th time in 14 games that Elliott has held the opposition to two or fewer goals, and his fourth shutout of the year, putting him into a tie with Jonathan Quick for the league lead. Kevin Shattenkirk scored the game's lone goal on a second period powerplay.

No. 2 Star: Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks

Kesler helped the Canucks jump out to an early lead versus the Ottawa Senators with a goal and an assist in the first 10 minutes. Then he added to the Canucks' lead with a powerplay tally midway through the second as Vancouver cruised to a 4-1 victory.

No. 3 Star: Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins

After the Bruins fell behind 0-2 early versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, Lucic set up 3 straight goals within three minutes (not withstanding the 1st intermission) to put the Bruins ahead. Columbus would tie the game back up later in the frame, but after Zdeno Chara went down with an injury, Joe Corvo would come up huge, scoring the game-winner -- his second of the night -- early in the third period. The Bruins would add another for the 5-3 win.


Honourable mention: The newly acquired Tomas Kaberle picked up an assist on both goals as the Montreal Canadiens held off the New Jersey Devils, 2-1. Erik Cole scored the game-winner... Daniel Briere, Scott Hartnell, Jaromir Jagr, and Wayne Simmonds each had a goal and an assist as the Philadelphia Flyers routed the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 in a much more entertaining rematch... Jiri Hudler scored twice in the Detroit Red Wings' 7-1 drubbing of the Winnipeg Jets... 23-year-old rookie Carl Hagelin scored twice as the Rangers topped the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. Ryan Callahan added a sick shorthanded goal in the win...

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James Neal tied the game twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a slow start to double up on the New York Islanders, 6-3... Kyle Brodziak scored twice and Niklas Backstrom made 35 saves as the Minnesota Wild beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1 for their 7th straight win... Nashville Predators' forward Jordin Tootoo scored the game-winning goal and picked up an assist in his first game back from suspension, a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks... Mikka Kiprusoff picked up the shutout and Jarome Iginla scored twice in the Calgary Flames' 3-0 win over the Oilers. And Ladislav Smid deserves a mention in the loss for returning to the game after this high-stick from Olli Jokinen:

How he came back without looking like Christopher Nolan's incarnation of the Joker or worse, a Canadian on "South Park", is beyond me... It takes a second look, but Trevor Daley's game-winner in the Dallas Stars' 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings is pretty nifty. Cutting through the zone, he kicks the puck onto his stick, then puts it off the base of the post, off Jonathan Bernier and in:

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Did you know? The New York Rangers' victory was the 2500th regular-season win in franchise history.  (AP)

Dishonourable mention: The Buffalo Sabres allowed two shorthanded goals in the second period versus the Rangers, the latter turning out to be the game-winner. That's never good... The referees were the only ones in the building that felt this Travis Hamonic "elbow" on Brooks Orpik was worthy of 5 and a game:

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