Thursday's Three Stars: Stamkos ties goal lead; Nabby blanks

No. 1 Star: Steven Stamkos(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning

Sure, Antero Niittymaki's(notes) 47 saves were a huge factor in the Lightning's 5-3 victory at the Boston Bruins. But Stamkos scored two back-breaking goals -- one 49 seconds into the game, and another with 26 seconds left in the second period for a 4-2 Tampa lead -- and moved into a tie for the NHL lead in goals in the process. Tampa's still alive for the No. 8 seed in the East.

No. 2 Star: Evgeni Nabokov(notes), San Jose Sharks

Nabby's 50th career shutout continued the Sharks' turnaround after a 0-5-1 slump and his own return to form, as San Jose shut out the Dallas Stars, 3-0. Nabokov made 27 saves in the win.

No. 3 Star: Kyle Brodziak(notes), Minnesota Wild

His game-winning goal in the Wild's 4-3 road victory at the struggling Philadelphia Flyers wasn't pretty, but keep this in mind: He appeared to be knocked unconscious from a hit earlier in the game, but ended up winning it with a shot that the Flyers couldn't keep out of the net. The game-winner for the Wild, on a rough night for the Flyers:

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Honorable mention: Chris Drury(notes) scored his 12th of the season with 16.5 seconds left in the third period, pushing the New York Rangers' game against the New Jersey Devils into overtime, where Erik Christensen's(notes) goal won the shootout for the Blueshirts, 4-3, as Lundqvist shut the door. ... One day after Mike Knuble(notes) of the Washington Capitals converted on an unexpected shootout chance, Chad LaRose(notes) scored on his first career shootout attempt to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the Caps. Manny Legace(notes) made 41 saves and three more in the shootout. ... Goals by Wojtek Wolski(notes) and Keith Yandle(notes) in the third period earned the Phoenix Coyotes a charity point, but David Legwand(notes) finished off the shootout for the Nashville Predators for the 4-3 win. The Preds are now fifth in the West. ... Antoine Vermette(notes) had a three-point night for Columbus. ... Client Jaroslav Halak(notes) made 23 saves and Brian Gionta(notes) scored twice -- including one of two empty netters -- as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Florida Panthers, 4-1. ... Mikhail Grabovski(notes) tipped home a Dion Phaneuf(notes) floater just 39 seconds into overtime for a 2-1 Toronto Maple Leafs' win over the Atlanta Thrashers, in a critical loss for the Thrash. ... Paul Kariya(notes) had an assist and a critical third-period goal as the St. Louis Blues beat the Los Angeles Kings, 3-1, to keep their faint playoff hopes alive. ... The Capitals now have a franchise record 109 points on the season.

Did you know? Bryan Rodney of the Hurricanes and John Carlson(notes) of the Capitals both scored their first NHL goals.

Dishonorable mention: The Chicago Blackhawks were handed their worst loss of the season by the Columbus Blue Jackets in an 8-3 rout, as the Jackets scored six consecutive goals to chase starting goalie Cristobal Huet(notes) (20 saves on 27 shots), although he returned in the third. ... The Calgary Flames held a 2-1 lead entering the third period in a must-win game for their playoff hopes. But Matt Moulson(notes) and Bruno Gervais(notes) scored in the final period to give the New York Islanders the stunning 3-2 win. Mark Streit(notes) assisted on both goals. ... Eric Brewer(notes) and BJ Crombeen(notes) both had puck over the glass penalties for the blues in the first period. ... Finally, vintage Sean Avery(notes), tormenting the Devils and David Clarkson(notes):

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