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NHL Three Stars: Kessel tricks Ducks; Harding blanks Predators

Teemu forever

No. 1 Star: Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs

With head coach Randy Carlyle facing his old team, his players gave him the present of a victory. Led by Kessel's hat trick, the Maple Leafs doubled up the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. James van Riemsdyk added a pair of assists, both on Kessel goals.

No. 2 Star: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

In a game where no lead was safe, Ovechkin scored twice in the second period and Martin Erat put home the fourth and winning shootout goal for the Capitals as they got by the Winnipeg Jets 5-4. Braden Holtby made 43 saves and Nicklas Backstrom chipped in this beauty of an assist on a Troy Brouwer goal:

No. 3 Star: Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild

All the Wild needed was a Justin Fontaine goal late in the second period to outlast the Nashville Predators 2-0. A Jason Pominville empty-netter sealed things with 25 seconds left and helped Harding earn a 16-save shutout. It was Harding's seventh career shutout and first since Jan. 20.

Honorable mention: Behind James Wisniewski's goal and two assists and Brandon Dubinsky's two points, the Columbus Blue Jackets downed the New Jersey Devils 4-1. Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves ... Mike Ribeiro's two goals and Mike Smith's 22 saves helped the Phoenix Coyotes defeat the Calgary Flames 4-2. It was the second consecutive game Ribeiro scored twice. Radim Vrbata scored his 200th career goal. Jiri Hudler recorded an assist and is the only NHL player to have a point in each of his team's games. Hudler has 11 points in 9 games ... Here's a spirited bout between Rich Clune and Zenon Konopka:

In a game that saw three goals in the opening 4:57 and nine total, the Vancouver Canucks beat the New York Islanders in overtime thanks to a Brad Richardson goal. After Frans Nielsen (goal, two assists) tied the game late in the third period, Richardson finished off an odd-man rush in the extra frame to give the Islanders their fifth loss in six games by one goal. Matt Moulson scored a pair in the loss. Brock Nelson scored his first NHL goal for the Islanders ... Ryan Suter played his 600th NHL game ... Goals from Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Ryan Jones and Ales Hemsky helped the Edmonton Oilers come back from a 2-0 deficit to down the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Mark Arcobello each had two assists. Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins certainly enjoyed Lars Eller's pre-game comments about his team ... Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews scored in the shootout at the Chicago Blackhawks thwarted a Florida Panthers comeback attempt to edge them 3-2. Toews also scored in regulation as the Blackhawks have now picked up points in their last six games ... Bryan Little netted a pair and Andrew Ladd contributed three assists in a losing effort for the Jets. Evander Kane had a point, but stood out pre-game:

Did You Know? "The Coyotes, with 16 points (6-2-2), are off to their best start since opening the 2000-01 season 7-1-2." (AP)

Dishonorable mention: Anaheim's seven game win streak was snapped ... Their power play continued to struggle on the season, going 0-for-4 ... Tim Thomas left the game late in the third period with an undisclosed injury that isn't believed to be his groin that sidelined him earlier this season ... Jonas Brodin left the game early in the first period after taking a puck to the mouth. He was taken to a local hospital where he was later released. The Wild will update his condition on Wednesday:

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