Wednesday's Three Stars: Cammalleri lights ring of fire

No. 1 star, Michael Cammalleri, Calgary Flames:
When the topic turned to All-Star snubs, Michael Cammalleri didn't get much mention, but he continues to prove he deserved to be in Montreal as anyone. Cammalleri remained red-hot Wednesday night by scoring three goals and leading the Flames to a 5-2 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabers. Cammalleri, who has 11 goals and 13 points during a seven-game point streak, leads the Flames with 25 goals. Cammalleri scored on the power play at 3:51 of the first period to break a scoreless tie. He added his second, another power-play tally, at 11:44 of the third to give the hosts a two-goal lead and capped his hat trick at 13:08 during even strength. Cammalleri led the Flames with shots on goal during his 18:34 of ice time.

No. 2 star, Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins:
For someone who isn't 100 percent, Sidney Crosby was plenty good against the frustrated New York Rangers. Crosby scored a highlight-reel goal when the game was long decided, and supplied three assists that were very much needed as the Penguins scored five times in the final period en route to a 6-2 victory. Crosby assisted on three straight Pittsburgh goals, two of the primary version, and then hit the far corner of the net with a rising, no-look backhand shot at 18:20 of the third period. Crosby, a plus-2 with five shots on goal, won 11 of 20 draws during 20:44 of ice time.

No. 3 star, Nikolai Khabibulin, Chicago Blackhawks:
The veteran goalie gave the Blackhawks just what they needed to start a season-high eight-game road trip. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 36 of 38 shots, including several in close during the final 10 minutes while nursing a one-goal lead to escape Anaheim with a 3-2 victory. Chicago's eight-game trip is the longest of any team this season.

Honorable mention: Kris Letang enjoyed the first two-goal game of his career and Petr Sykora scored two goals as well for the Penguins. … Patrick Kane broke a 12-game goal-less drought. … Kudos to referee Dan O'Rourke for not missing a beat despite getting smacked in the chops by a deflected puck and losing a chicklet late in the opening period in Anaheim.

Dishonorable mention: What was Michel Therrien thinking putting injured Sidney Crosby and his other top offensive stars on the ice for a late-game power play when the Penguins already led by four goals? It's one thing to try to get Letang or Sykora a hat trick, but wouldn't it be more prudent to put some third- or fourth-liners out there during the rout? … With all due respect to Crosby's skill, it's no surprise Henrik Lundqvist allows that trick-shot goal. He still doesn't cover the top half of the net as well as he does the bottom portion. … Vancouver has lost eight straight at home. This is not a playoff team.

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