Wednesday's Three Stars: Ovechkin's night to shine

No. 1 star, Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals:
When two tired teams went at it in the third period on Wednesday night, Alexander Ovechkin showed he has another level to his game that is above and beyond the usual excellent one he displays on a nightly basis. Ovechkin took over in Pittsburgh by scoring two goals and assisting on a third one as the Caps broke a 2-2 tie after 40 minutes and won going away. Ovechkin gave the visitors their first lead of the game with a power-play strike at 1:48 of the final period. He provided the primary assist on what turned out to be the game-winner at 8:11, and he scored an insurance marker – his 29th goal of the season – at 11:27. Five of Ovechkin's team-high 10 shots came in the final period.

No. 2 star, Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings:
The steady Detroit superstar was at it again in Anaheim as he helped the Red Wings rally and hand the Ducks their first loss in 15 games when leading after two periods. Datsyuk had a pair of primary assists, the second of which came on Johan Franzen's game-winning goal at 10:07 of the final period. Datsyuk was a plus-2 with three shots, one block, three takeaways and enjoyed an 11-6 edge in faceoffs during 19:25 of ice time.

No. 3 star, Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks:
Chicago's young captain scored a goal and added an assist as the Blackhawks turned away the Buffalo Sabres. Toews scored what turned out to be the game-winner – his 12th goal of the season – at 18:05 of the first period. Toews was a plus-2 with three shots and won six of 11 draws.

Honorable mention: Washington's Niklas Backstrom chipped in three assists. … Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby was 18-6 in the faceoff circle, in addition to adding two assists on the score sheet. Teammate Miroslav Satan scored his 350th goal in his 992nd career game. … Rookie defenseman Zack Bogosian, the No. 3 overall pick last June, appeared at home in Atlanta for the first time since breaking a leg on Oct. 28. … Ryan Getzlaf scored a goal as part of a three-point night in Anaheim's loss. … Detroit's Chris Osgood made a great glove save on Chris Perry in the final seconds of a one-goal game. … Chicago is 20-for-20 in home sellouts.

Dishonorable mention: The Penguins have won in regulation only three times since Dec. 13. … Evgeni Malkin's game-high 12 shots on goal was offset by the fact he was a minus-3. … What will the Thrashers take from Ilya Kovalchuk's first game as captain? How's about a five-penalty first period leading to a 12th loss in their last 14 games at home?

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