Tuesday's three stars: Richards rescues Flyers

No. 1 star: Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers

Richards picked the top corner on Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith and hit his target in overtime to help the Flyers snap a two-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory. It was the captain's second straight two-goal game and his second in a row with a shorthanded goal, as he won a waiting contest with Smith to make it 2-1 with a shorty early in the third period. As if teams don't have enough to worry about against the Flyers, second in the Eastern Conference in goals scored per game, Richards has more shorthanded goals (15) than any other player since he joined the NHL in 2005-06. The way things unfolded in the final 10 minutes of regulation, this one could easily have landed in the "one that got away" column.

No. 2 star: Marty Turco, Dallas Stars

Turco has deservingly taken his share of heat for Dallas' early season failures, but you have to feel sorry for the Stars netminder, who had arguably his best game of the season Tuesday on a night most beat writers in the Saddledome press box probably glanced only occasionally at the action on the ice. While reporters were chasing Sean Avery angles, Turco was keeping the Stars in a close game. He made a season-high 36 saves – for all his struggles, he's not facing a ton of shots – and held an opponent to fewer than two goals for just the third time this season. Turco is now 13-6-2 lifetime against Calgary.

No. 3 star: Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks

On the third anniversary of his first game in teal, Thornton welcomed old coach Ron Wilson back to San Jose with four points in the first period of a 5-2 cakewalk over Toronto. It was Thornton's third four-point game as a Shark and the early blitz allowed San Jose to tie the league record for most points through 25 games with 43. With Washington's loss the Sharks are now the only NHL team without a regulation loss at home. Thornton had a goal and three assists and now has 17 points in his last nine games.

Honorable mention: Kimmo Timonen's set up on Philly's game-winner was something to behold, as he faked a pass to the point, made the defense commit by attacking the net and then fed Richards with a backhander. … Jeff Carter scored twice for the Flyers to tie Thomas Vanek for the league lead in goals with 18. … Coyotes forward Enver Lisin had his first-career two-goal game in a 4-2 win over the Kings. … Mikael Tellqvist continued his solid play of late with 32 saves for Phoenix. … San Jose's Rob Blake extended his point streak to six games with an assist and Devin Setoguchi had his sixth multi-point game in his last nine. … Andrei Kostitsyn's three-point night helped Montreal score four or more goals for the first time since Nov. 11.

Dishonorable mention: Yeah, the Dallas Stars really needed another distraction. … Vesa Toskala was lucky to get another 40 minutes of work after allowing four goals – a pair of the soft variety – on 13 shots in the first period of his return to San Jose. … With Atlanta's goalie pulled, Ilya Kovalchuk jumped off the bench and promptly fanned on a shot, allowing a Montreal rush toward the empty net. An insurance goal ensued, rendering a late Thrashers goal moot in a 5-4 loss. … Martin Biron could have fair caught Vaclav Prospal's third-period goal and he had Steve Downie's game-tying goal in his glove. … No TV for Panthers-Caps, so we'll have to rely on player accounts of the Dave Steckel pass that resulted in an own-goal. Just what Jose Theodore needed. … Finally, behold the brilliance of a stickless Scott Hartnell trying to thwart a Ryan Malone breakaway. Largly unnoticed as Hartnell guaranteed himself youtube immortality and handed the Lightning a penalty shot is the fact that he darn near kicked the puck into his own net on the rebound. Enjoy …

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