NHL Three Stars: Howard blanks Coyotes; Canucks, Ducks clinch division titles (PuckDa
http://l.yimg.com/os/en/blogs/sptusn.../167225118.jpgNo. 1 Star: Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings stayed alive in their playoff pursuit with a 4-0 blanking of the Phoenix Coyotes. Howard made 34 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and 15th of his career. Three of Detroit's four goals came via the powerplay, with Johan Franzen, Damien Brunner and Valtteri Filppula all scoring with the man advantage. Franzen would add his second of the night on an empty-netter late in the game. Henrik Zetterberg recorded all three of his assists on those power play tallies, including this gorgeous helper:
No. 2 Star: Viktor Fasth, Anaheim Ducks
Fasth continued his stellar first season in the NHL with his fourth shutout in a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Behind Fasth's 24 saves and goals from Ryan Getzlaf, Radek Dvorak and Sami Vatanen, the Ducks clinched the Pacific Division crown and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
No. 3 Star: Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks wrapped up their fifth straight Northwest Division title with a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Sedin helped set up Zack Kassian's goal midway through the second period and then added his own eight minutes later as Vancouver built up a 3-0 lead by the end of two. Brother Henrik recorded a pair of assists, while Cory Schneider made 24 saves.
Honorable mention: Antti Miettinen's goal with 7:36 left in the third period snapped a 1-1 tie and gave the Winnipeg Jets the lead for good in their 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Ondrej Pavelec made 24 saves as the Jets kept pace in the mix of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Winnipeg sits ninth, one point behind the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators for eighth and two points behind the Islanders for sixth. Pavelec kept the lead intact with this glove save on Thomas Vanek late in the game:
Brenden Morrow set up two first period goals and Tomas Vokoun made 34 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1. Dustin Jeffrey had a goal and an assist to help the Penguins to their seventh straight win. Head coach Dan Bylsma won his 200th NHL game to become the fastest in league history to reach the milestone.
Did You Know? "Henrik Sedin passed [Markus] Näslund as Canucks all time scoring leader in his 905th game. Tonight Daniel passed Näslund. 905th game." (@jhititela)
Dishonorable mention: Via the AP, the Coyotes last win in Detroit came Oct. 28, 2010 ... Phoenix was on the losing end of a shutout for the third time in seven games ... Edmonton has lost eight of their last nine games.