NHL Three Stars: Pens clinch; Sevens lucky for Stars, unlucky for Leafs

No. 1 Star: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

Giroux can add dream-killer to his impressive CV this season after handing the Leafs their seventh-straight loss. The Flyers captain provided two assists on the power play goals scored by Vincent Lecavalier and Scott Hartnell. Giroux’s only goal stood as the game winner against Toronto, and it was a snipe.

No. 2 Star: Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars

Dallas needed a win against Nashville to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they got exactly what they were looking for. In the Stars 7-3 win, Goligoski had three assists and was a plus-5 in his team-high 23 minutes played. Colorado and Chicago needed the Stars to lose to clinch playoff spots.

No. 3 Star: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

The game between the Senators and Blackhawks meant very little. Chicago is on the very edge of punching their ticket to the big dance; barring a miracle, Ottawa’s season is over. You wouldn’t know the latter based on the play of Anderson in the 5-3 win. The Sens net-minder made 46 saves against the defending champs in his first game back from injury.

Honorable mention: Welcome back Beau Bennett! The Pittsburgh forward scored the game-winning (and playoff spot clinching) goal for the Penguins in his first game back after missing the last 50 due to injury:

… Tyler Seguin extended his point-scoring streak to 11 games by assisting on a Trevor Daley goal … Look up give-and-go in the dictionary and you’ll find this play by Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews:

… Calgary was up 2-0 on the Rangers after one period before New York scored three-straight in the second (in under six minutes) to take the lead; Kevin Westgarth and Mike Cammalleri followed up with goals of their own leading the Flames to a 4-3 win … Kari Ramo = unreal save:

… Matthieu Perreault tied the score late for the Ducks, but ultimately the Oilers would prevail 4-3 in OT on an absolute rocket from Andrew Ferrence off of a Sami Vatanen turnover 3-on-3 …

It wasn’t a pretty bout between Edmonton and Anaheim, but Ben Scrivens was sensational in a play-for-pride game for the Oil:

Did you know? After being dropped to the fourth line by Flyers coach Craig Berube, Vinny Lecavalier scored the first goal of the game against Toronto; it’s the 399th goal of his career.

Dishonorable mention: Toronto and that whole seven-straight losses thing … Pittsburgh’s Marcel Goc will be out three weeks with a foot injury … Ryan Johansen had the game tying goal on his stick and he whiffed:

… Antti Raanta tweaked something in his right leg that caused him to lay on his belly on the ice for a few minutes in the first period. Corey Crawford got ready to go in, but it was determined Raanta was well enough to continue … Latislav Smid left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return … Anaheim went 0-for-4 on the power play, including a key man-advantage in overtime.