Posted: Thursday April 19, 2012 2:45AM ; Updated: Thursday April 19, 2012 2:45AM
Allan Muir
Allan Muir>INSIDE THE NHL

Wednesday's Three Stars

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Jordan Staal's (No. 11) hat trick help the Penguins rout the Flyers.
Jordan Staal's (No. 11) hat trick help the Penguins rout the Flyers.
Chris Szagola/Cal Sport Media

1. Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins -- The slumber party is over in Pittsburgh, and it was the league's deepest center corps that (finally) answered the alarm. Needing a win to stay alive and missing some key players (defensive ace Paul Martin and 40-goal winger James Neal), Staal, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined for nine points to power a stunning 10-3 win over the Flyers. Staal gets to take home the star for netting the game-winner among his three goals, and an impressive 15-of-23 night in the dots.

2. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators -- Star-worthy performances in the playoffs are usually defined by the remarkable: either a series of stunning saves or else sheer quantity. Anderson's night, however, was more a case of sheer determination. After allowing a pair of power play tallies in the first six minutes of Game 4, Anderson all but willed the Senators to the win, stopping all 27 shots he faced after the Rangers took the 2-0 lead.

3. Cory Schneider, Vancouver Canucks -- You can almost picture it now, can't you? Racks upon racks of Roberto Luongo Canucks jerseys, all marked 50 percent off for quick sale. If Vancouver's fans, media and management already weren't convinced that Schneider had supplanted Luongo as the team's go-to stopper, his bullish performance in a must-win Game 4 Wednesday night surely sealed the deal. Facing a Los Angeles squad determined to finish the job, Schneider stopped 43-of-44 shots, including a third period Dustin Brown penalty shot taken while Vancouver clung desperately to a 2-1 lead.

 
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