Wednesday's Three Stars: OT heroics from Vermette, Selanne

No. 1 Star: Antoine Vermette, Columbus Blue Jackets

OK, so we may have dogged the BJs a bit at the deadline for picking up Vermette. All he's done is score points in five of his first six games with Columbus, including the game-winner at 2:38 of overtime for a playoff-intense 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. R.J. Umberger sent him a pass and Vermette did the rest: Fending off a hapless Brian Campbell and then chipping the puck past Cristobal Huet (24 saves). Tremendous game, and a tremendous win for the Jackets.

No. 2 Star: Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks squandered a lead in third period, as Joel Ward tied the game for the Nashville Predators with his second of the night. But Selanne's power-play goal in overtime -- Vernon Fiddler tripped Chris Pronger late in the third -- earned Anaheim a critical point in a 4-3 win over the Preds. It was Selanne's 1,200th NHL point and his 574th goal, passing Mike Bossy on the all-time list. 

No. 3 Star: Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes

With Kevin Weekes across the ice and Martin Brodeur watching the game for the New Jersey Devils, Ward made 41 saves in the Canes' 4-2 win. Making his 19th straight start, Ward had 16 saves in both the second and third periods to preserve the win. He's now helped Carolina earn at least a point in seven of its last eight games.


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Honorable Mention: The Calgary Flames offensive last night was Jamie Lundmark and Eric Nystrom, but they'll certainly take the 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars. The story of the game was defense: The Flames limited the Stars to four shots in the first and just three in the third. ... Anton Babchuk scored two goals for Carolina. ... Zach Parise netted his 41st for the Devils, while Rick Nash scored his 34th in the Columbus win. ... Ducks rookie Bobby Ryan had two points, including his 24th goal of the year. 

Did You Know?: The Anaheim Ducks were a putrid 1-for-28 on the power play over their previous eight games, but went 3-for-5 against Nashville, who entered the game with the League's third-best penalty kill. And this is why we don't bet on hockey.

Dishonorable Mention: Quite the hangover for the Devils, as they allowed 18 shots in the first period and three Carolina power-play goals on five chances. Bryce Salvador had three different minor penalties. Yuck. ... Michael Cammalleri hasn't scored a goal in six games for Calgary, matching his longest dry spell of an otherwise spectacular season. ... Andre Roy of the Flames gets the nod for least time on ice tonight: 4:59, and he didn't even fight. ... Sadly, it appears that the New York Islanders will not be joining the postseason draw.

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