Sunday's three stars: Wheeler's submission for goal of the year

No. 1 star: Blake Wheeler, Boston Bruins

Well, if that's not a goal of the year candidate, then at the very least it's the favorite for short-handed goal of the year. Gotta love the spin-o-rama at the top of the circles; and if you freeze the video at the right moment, you can actually see Wheeler with five St. Louis Blues players within a foot of him, including the goalie. Wheeler scored the first two goals in Boston's 6-3 win over the Blues, and is tied with Patrik Berglund and Mikhail Grabovski for the lead in rookie goals with 11.

No. 2 star: Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes

Stall had a three-point night but was the beneficiary of outstanding plays by teammates on each one. Sergei Samsonov's brilliant individual effort after Staal's pass -- taking a rebound of his own shot and putting it past Carey Price -- resulted in the first goal. Samsonov's terrific feed set up Staal's power-play goal in the second; and Staal's shot from the slot handcuffed Price in OT, allowing Tuomo Ruutu to cash in the winner for the 3-2 victory.

No. 3 star: Scott Clemmensen, New Jersey Devils

The Devils goalie improved to 11-3-1 on the season, making 27 saves and making four more in the shootout in New Jersey's 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Philly's shooters were trying to go high glove side; Clemmensen had most of them figured out.

Honorable Mention: Tomas Vokoun had 23 saves for his 27th career shutout, but credited his Florida Panthers teammates for a total team effort in the 3-0 win over a sluggish Colorado Avalanche team. ... Phil Kessel extended his points streak to 18 games for the Bruins, the team's longest since Adam Oates's 20 games in 1997-98. ... Jeff Carter scored his 25th and Patrik Elias notched his 16th in the Flyers-Devils game.

Dishonorable Mention: Manny Legace (18 saves on 23 shots) was yanked in the third period for the Blues in favor of Chris Mason. ... Guillaume Latendresse had a goal taken away by the officials after a Carolina penalty was called behind the play, and it was determined that Cam Ward had gained control of the puck by making a save on a scramble in front. Overall, not the best night for the zebras in Montreal, who had a mixed up crew after ref Kelly Sutherland couldn't make the game due to bad travel conditions.

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