Thursday’s Three Stars: Pavelec blanks Coyotes; Blue Jackets rally late

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No. 1 Star: Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets

In the battle of the old Jets against the new Jets, Pavelec frustrated the Winnipeg Jets 1.0 with a 33-save performance during a 1-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes to earn his second shutout of the season and eighth career. Bryan Little scored the only goal of the game 6:53 into the opening period. Remember the magic puck that somehow didn't get past Jonathan Quick last year? Ondrej Pavelec experienced that tonight:

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No. 2 Star: Nikita Nikitin, Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus scored twice in the final 4:05 to force overtime, then a shootout where they earned a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Rick Nash tied the game with 58 seconds to go and then scored the only goal in the shootout. Nikitin scored the first of Columbus' two late goals and assisted on Nash's tying tally along with the opening goal of the game for his second career multi-point night.

No. 3 Star: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Quick made double digit saves in all three periods as the Kings got by the Florida Panthers 2-1. Dustin Brown's fifth goal of the season midway through the second period gave the Kings a 2-0 lead and ended up being his third game-winning tally of the year. Quick made 41 saves for his 11th win of the season as the Kings improved to 7-0 against the Panthers since 2002. It was the first 40+ save game for Quick this year.

Honorable mention: Marian Gaborik's 12th goal of the year followed by his helper on Sean Avery's goal 1:57 later help power the New York Rangers past the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3. Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves as the Rangers won their fourth straight game and 11th in their last 13 ... Chris Kunitz's goal 2:34 into the third period snapped a 1-1 tie and was the difference as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Washington Capitals 2-1. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 16 shots for his 14th win as the Penguins improved to 4-1-1 since Sidney Crosby's return. Penguins rookie defenseman Simon Despres recorded an assist and was a plus-2 in his NHL debut ... Jason Chimera scored his team-leading 10th goal for Washington ... Blake Comeau scored his first goal of the season and added an assist for the Flames after going 19 games this season without a point ... A 3-1 first period lead for Nashville quickly turned into a 5-5 tie after the second and finished 6-5 in favor of the Predators thanks to Mike Fisher's second goal of the night with 1:16 remaining in the third period. Colin Wilson and Craig Smith each recorded three points and the Predators cashed in on all three of their power plays ... The Green Men were at it tonight trying to get in the head of Shea Weber by using the infamous naked Ryan Kesler photo:

Kesler later found himself performing some acrobatics by leaping over the Nashville goal to get to the puck behind the net:

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Ryan Clowe tied the game with 1:26 left in the regulation and Joe Pavelski scored in the sixth round of the shootout as the San Jose Sharks beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Antti Niemi stopped 29 shots to snap a two-game losing streak and improved the Sharks' home record over the Canadiens to 6-0 since 1999 ... Eric Nystrom's ninth goal in 20 games as a Dallas Star came with 2:20 left in the third period and stood as the game-winner in a 3-2 defeat of the Ottawa Senators. Dallas scored twice in the final 5:34 to steal the win, with the tying goal coming from Radek Dvorak who posted a 2-point night. Andrew Raycroft made 33 saves for his second straight win as the Stars improved to 4-1-1 in their last six ... Milan Michalek scored his 15th goal of the year for the Senators moving him into second place overall in the NHL ... Kyle Turris made his season debut for the Coyotes playing 11:58, taking four shots and winning all six of his faceoffs ... Vinny Prospal recorded an assist for his 800th NHL point

Did you know? The Stars are 8-1-1 in one-goal games. (AP)

Dishonorable mention: The Hurricanes have dropped five in a row ... Washington lost their fourth straight and seventh in nine games ... Both Cory Schneider and Pekka Rinne did not finish the game after getting the start. Schneider allowed three goals on five shots and Rinne five goals on 18 shots before both were pulled. Roberto Luongo, coming in for Schneider, let in three goals on 15 shots ... Will John Carlson's headshot to Matt Cooke warrant a Shanaban? ... Kings forward Mike Richards left the game after the second period after taking a hit from Sean Bergenheim. After the game, Head Coach Terry Murray said no update would come until Friday on his condition.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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