Wednesday's Three Stars: Pommer tries to save Sabres' season

No. 1 Star: Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres

It was the most important 2 minutes and 7 seconds of the Sabres' season, and Pominville was in the middle of it. Down 3-1 to Tomas Vokoun (40 saves) and the Florida Panthers, Pominville scored his 16th goal, assisted on Clarke MacArthur's tying goal and had a secondary helper on Tim Connolly's power-play goal for the lead. Buffalo wins, 5-3, giving the Sabres a heartbeat with goalie Ryan Miller due back from injury on Friday -- just five points out of the eight seed.

No. 2 Star: Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins

Here's a strange one: Fleury had his third straight shutout on the 25th day of March in blanking the Calgary Flames, 2-0. The 31-save effort was his fourth shutout of the season, as the Penguins goalie who looked so good in last year's playoffs is getting into postseason form.

No. 3 Star: Marian Gaborik, Minnesota Wild

The Wild's offense looked anemic against the Rangers last night, struggling without injured Mikko Koivu. Gaborik picked up the slack with two goals and two assists, as the Wild skated away with a 6-2 win against the New York Islanders, who played a physical game against Minnesota.


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Honorable Mention: Is Operation: Run The Table over? The Ottawa Senators fall to the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1, as Rod Brind'Amour had a goal and an assist while Anton Babchuk continued his solid play with the game-winner. ... We mentioned this might be the game of the night, and the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks certainly made things interesting. The Sharks rallied in the third period with two goals in less than three minutes, earning a charity point before falling in the skills competition for a 6-5 defeat. Jonathan Toews scored his 30th; he and Patrick Kane were the only successful players in the shootout. ... The Anaheim Ducks moved into the seventh seed in the West with a 7-2 curb-stomping of the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. Corey Perry had two goals while Andrew Ebbett had a three-point night. The Anaheim power play converted two more times to continue its torrid pace.

Did You Know?: For what its worth, Cal Clutterbuck of the Wild set an NHL single-season record for hits (317) last night; hits being one of the most subjective and nebulous stats ever collected in professional hockey.

Dishonorable Mention: Four goals on eight shots does not make for good goaltending, Mr. Andrew Raycroft. Which is why it was a short night. ... Milan Hejduk scored a goal but was still a minus-3 for the Avalanche; Patrick Kaleta and Paul Gaustad were also minus-threes for the Sabres. ... Finally, from the great DayWalk3r, here's a nightmarish few minutes of open-net hockey for the Penguins, as Matt Cooke misses twice badly and the Pittsburgh bench has a laugh about it:

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