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NHL 3 Stars: Backstrom blanks Sharks; Leafs, Canucks win with 13 shots

Harrison Mooney
Puck Daddy

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Martin Brodeur's win was his 666th, which is fitting, because a) he plays for the Devils, and b) he's a beast.

No. 1 Star: Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild

Backstrom made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season in Wild's 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks, their fifth consecutive victory. Ryan Suter added 2 assists in the win.

No. 2 Star: Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres were outshot 39-18 by the Montreal Canadiens, but Vanek was the difference, scoring both goals as the club stole a 2-1 victory. Here's Vanek's game-winner, on which he shows some incredible presence of mind to finish off the tic-tac-toe play by taking this puck across the crease:

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No. 3 Star: Cory Schneider, Vancouver Canucks

There was little margin for error for Schneider in this one, but fortunately, he was perfect for the Canucks Saturday, making 20 saves in a 1-0 win. This was a very uneventful a game. How uneventful? Consider: Jonathan Quick was named the second star for his 12-save performance.

Honourable mention: Daniel Alfredsson the game-winner and added an empty-netter in the Ottawa Senators' 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning... Travis Zajac had two points in the New Jersey Devils' 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers... Frazer McLaren scored the game-winner -- through his legs, no less -- as the Leafs held on to top the Boston Bruins, 3-2:

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... Derek Roy, Eric Nystrom, Jaromir Jagr and Jamie Benn all had three-point nights as the Dallas Stars beat up on the Colorado Avalanche, 5-2... Taylor Beck was the first star for the Nashville Predators in their 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, scoring his first career goal to kick off a big first period during which Nashville scored four goals. Beck added an assist as well... Jaroslav Halak picked up a 19-save shutout for the St. Louis Blues, who knocked off the Edmonton Oilers, 3-0.

Did you know? Maybe this should have been in the dishonourable mention section, but two clubs, the Leafs and the Canucks, eked out wins Saturday with only 13 shots on goal.

Dishonourable mention: The Senators' made life a lot more difficult on them than it needed to be, allowing Tampa to go from down 4-0 to down 4-3 in seven minutes... Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after allowing 4 goals in 11 shots for the Blue Jackets... Rich Clune and Colby Robak could both be in line for Sunday Shanabans... the Oilers were shut out for the 3rd time in 8 games, and earned a hearty boo from the home fans in the game's dying seconds.

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