Thursday’s Three Stars: Ward shuts out Blues for 200th win; Penguins rout Rangers

Marco Sturm's commitment to this hook is downright admirable.

No. 1 Star: Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes

It was a goaltenders' duel in Carolina, as Ward and St Louis Blues' netminder Brian Elliott held this game scoreless for over 50 minutes before Chad LaRose opened the scoring. It would be all the Hurricanes needed, as Ward make 40 saves for the shutout in the 2-0 win, the 200th victory of his career. Jeff Skinner's insurance goal was the goal of the night, a slick bit of footwork after getting his stick lifted on a 2-on-1:

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

No. 2 Star: Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers

The Panthers moved to within 4 points of the Boston Bruins for 2nd in the Eastern Conference with a convincing, 6-2 shellacking. Campbell assisted on three of the goals, and even delivered the biggest hit of the night, an open-ice hipcheck on Brad Marchand:

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

No. 3 Star: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins

Sidney Crosby has a successful, low-key return in the Penguins' 5-2 drubbing of the New York Rangers. The Pens scored a goal on his first shift and he picked up an assist on Chris Kunitz's third period tally. But he was overshadowed by Letang's return to the Pittsburgh lineup after missing the last 5 with a concussion. Letang was on the ice for every Pittsburgh goal, finishing a career-high plus-5. Matt Cooke had a great game as well, scoring twice. Yes, he was on Crosby's wing.

Honourable mention: Mikael Samuelsson and Stephen Weiss had a goal and an assist each for the Panthers... Jarome Iginla scored the game-winner in the Calgary Flames' 4-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, extending his point streak to 8 games. He's got 14 points in March... Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell picked up a goal and an assist, and Ilya Bryzgalov set a franchise record with a shutout streak of 249:43 before surrendering two in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders... Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise scored in the shootout, the only times the puck crossed the goal line in the New Jersey Devils 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Martin Brodeur made 28 saves in the win and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 33 in the loss... James Reimer ended a personal five-game losing streak, making 34 saves, and Joey Crabb scored the game-winner in the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning... The San Jose Sharks ended their 3-game home losing streak with a 2-1 shootout win over the Nashville Predators. Ryane Clowe scored the only goal of the shootout. Pekka Rinne and Antti Niemi were fantastic, making 34 and 32 saves, respectively.

Did you know? Thursday's loss to the Penguins was the first time this season the Rangers had surrendered 5 goals.

Dishonourable mention: Despite scoring a goal, Joe Corvo had an especially rough night for Boston...Tim Brent celebrated pretty hard here, considering he didn't score:

A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

Thank goodness referees don't hold grudges, thought Andrew MacDonald after high-sticking Stephane Auger in the face:

What to Read Next