NHL Three Stars: Couture’s 4-point night; Brodeur records 121st shutout (PuckDaddy)
http://l.yimg.com/os/en/blogs/sptusn...1505913842.jpgNo. 1 Star: Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks
Couture's 4-point night led the way as the Sharks defeated the Minnesota Wild 6-1. Martin Havlat scored twice and added an assist against his former team and goaltender Antti Niemi made 27 saves. The Sharks have won three in a row and are tied with the Kings for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. They're also 16-1-5 at HP Pavilion this year. One of Couture's assists came on a Havlat goal thanks to the young forwards' leaping abilities:
No. 2 Star: John Tavares, New York Islanders
Continuing to help the Islanders make a playoff push, while at the same time making a case for Hart Trophy consideration, Tavares scored twice and assisted on another as New York downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3. After finding themselves down 2-0 early in the game, the Islanders responded with five straight to move within two points of the Leafs for the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. Brad Boyes chipped in three points, while Lubomir Visnovsky and Matt Moulson each recorded two.
No. 3 Star: Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
The Devils netminder earned his 121st career shutout with a 23-save performance during a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Ryan Carter, Matt D'Agostini and Adam Henrique all scored for New Jersey. The victory was the 667th of Brodeur's career and snapped the Devils' 10-game winless streak.
Honorable Mention: Dustin Byfuglien's goal 1:23 into overtime helped keep the Winnipeg Jets' playoff hopes alive with a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Andrew Ladd helped set up that OT winner and assisted on two others. Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists. Ondrej Pavelec won save of the night honors with this paddle stop on Justin Faulk:
Brian Elliott came within seven seconds of recording his fourth shutout in six games, but Andy McDonald's shootout goal helped give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. It was the second game in a row that Elliott failed to allow a goal in the hootout ... Goals from Drew Doughty and Kyle Clifford were just enough as the Los Angeles Kings edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Jonathan Quick made 20 saves. Blue Jackets rookie Dalton Prout scored his first NHL goal in the loss ... Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves as the New York Rangers routed the Florida Panthers 6-1. Rick Nash added a goal and two assists and the Rangers power play scored on two of their four opportunities ... Brian Gionta scored his second of the night with 47 seconds left in regulation to help give the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Carey Price won for the first time in four starts with 32 saves. Richard Panik gets goal of the night honors in a losing effort with this spin-o-rama:
Cody Eakin and Jamie Benn each scored a goal and added an assist and Kari Lehtonen made 37 saves in his first game back from injury as the Dallas Stars downed the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 ... Two goals from Kyle Turris and 18 saves by Craig Anderson helped lead the Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals. The Senators have won four straight.
Did You Know? The Devils and Flyers have never missed the playoffs in the same season. (MSG Network)
Dishonorable Mention: Scott Clemmensen was in net for all six Rangers goals ... Florida has dropped five of six ... After their loss, the Blue Jackets announced Matt Calvert suffered a broken finger and will be "out for a while" ... Radim Vrbata spoiled Brian Elliott's shutout, but not before Alex Pietrangelo took exception to a Martin Hanzal hit from behind. Check out his slash on Hanzal. Will he see supplemental discipline or get the Taylor Hall treatment?
Earlier, David Backes hit Oliver Ekman-Larsson from behind and the two sides scrummed: