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Wednesday’s 3 Stars: Lightning win snoozefest; Craig Smith stars

Someone's going for a late-night walk in the park.

No. 1 Star: Craig Smith(notes), Nashville Predators

It was the Craig Smith show in Anaheim, as the rookie centre scored first, last, and added an assist in the Predators 4-2 win versus the Ducks. It was his second three-point night of the season, and the goals were his sixth and seventh on the year. Needless to say, he's playing quite well.

No. 2 Star: Derek Stepan(notes), New York Rangers

Stepan was in on every New York goal, scoring once and setting up his new winger, Marian Gaborik(notes), for two more as the Rangers topped the Ottawa Senators3-2. The first two of those goals came 2:17 apart in the second period, and the Rangers never looked back once they took the lead.

No. 3 Star: Brett Connolly(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning

Brett Connolly closed out the snoozefest in Tampa Bay and validated the Lightning's system in the process, scoring the winner in overtime as the Lightning edged the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1. Say what you will about this game, but it somehow managed to be both the most entertaining and least entertaining game on the night, and that's something. And don't think the Lightning aren't an unskilled bunch just because they trap -- the game-winner's pretty nice.

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Honourable mention: As mentioned, Marian Gaborik scored twice versus the Senators. Artem Anisimov(notes) added two assists. Jason Spezza(notes) won 15 of 19 faceoffs in the loss... Martin Erat(notes) picked up the game-winner in Anaheim on a penalty shot, and Patrick Hornqvist picked up three helpers, and Colin Wilson(notes) added a goal and an assist. Pekka Rinne(notes) made 31 saves in the win, thereby benefiting my fantasy team.

Did you know? Chris Pronger(notes), on Lightning hockey: "That's not hockey in my book, but whatever. The league's letting them do it. Would you pay money to watch that? I wouldn't either. That was a TV game, too. Way to showcase the product."

Dishonourable mention: Teemu Selanne(notes) and Saku Koivu(notes) finished a minus-3 for the Ducks... the Flyers only mustered 15 shots on Dwayne Roloson(notes). One assumes they might have been able to get a few more if they weren't literally standing around in their own zone for a third of the game.

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