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NHL Three Stars: Vanek’s 5-spot vs. Flyers; Hemsky, Oilers top Vancouver

Greg Wyshynski
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No. 1 Star: Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-2, and Vanek was in on every goal. He assisted on tallies by Steve Ott (power play), Tyler Myers (power play) and Cody Hodgson. He scored on the power play on a nifty deke move against Ilya Bryzgalov, and then potted the empty netter. It was his first career 5-point game. Linemate Jason Pominville had three assists.

No. 2 Star: Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild

Playing in his first game after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Harding stopped 24 Dallas Stars’ shots in pitching a shutout for the Wild, 1-0. Zach Parise scored his first goal with Minnesota in the win.

No. 3 Star: Ales Hemsky, Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers forward scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in a shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2. On the power play in the third period, Hemsky flew into the zone and scored past Roberto Luongo at 14:05. He ended the game with a shootout goal against Luongo, after Sam Gagner scored earlier in the skills competition.

Honorable Mention: Dave Bolland had two goals and an assist in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 6-4 win at the Phoenix Coyotes. Marian Hossa also had two goals against the team that eliminated the Hawks (and Hossa, thanks to Raffi Torres) last postseason. … Patrick Marleau scored two goals on Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff’s doorstep, as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Flames, 4-1. Dan Boyle had a goal and an assist. … Lee Stempniak had the lone goal for Calgary. … James Neal had two goals, Evgeni Malkin had three assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins rolled to a 6-3 win at the New York Rangers. Tomas Vokoun got his first win as a Penguin. … Rick Nash scored his first for the Rangers, shorthanded:

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Did You Know? Doan played in his 1,200th game.

Dishonorable Mention: Reigning Vezina winner Henrik Lundqvist was pulled in the second period after giving up four goals on 18 shots to the Penguins. … Two tough breaks for the Flyers, as a goalie interference call negated one goal and a whistle with the puck loose (and crossing the goal line) negated another. … The Flyers allowed three power-play goals on four times shorthanded. … Nail Yakupov was a minus-2 in his NHL debut. … Mike Smith gave up six goals and smashed his stick.

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