Hockey Night's 3 Stars senior hockey writer Tim Wharnsby picks Wednesday's top NHL performers. senior hockey writer Tim Wharnsby picks Wednesday's top NHL performers:

FIRST STAR: Rene Bourque, RW, Calgary

The feisty forward scored short-handed and power-play goals to help Calgary stay in the hunt for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. The Flames managed a 3-2 victory on the road against the Colorado Avalanche. Calgary trails eighth-place Detroit by a point, but the Red Wings have a game in hand. Flames goalie Vesa Toskala (32 saves) and fourth-liner Eric Nystrom (goal, four shots) also enjoyed strong games.

SECOND STAR: Bobby Ryan, RW, Anaheim

We need a little Irish content for St. Patrick’s Day and Ducks forward Bobby Ryan obliged us with a two-goal game in Anaheim’s 4-2 win at home against the Chicago Blackhawks. Besides, Ryan celebrates his birthday every year on St. Patty’s Day. He made sure it was a happy 23rd with his 30th and 31st goals of the season.

THIRD STAR: Paul Martin, D, New Jersey

The reliable defenceman returned to action for the Devils after missing 59 games with a broken left forearm and scored in New Jersey’s 5-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at home. For the first time in franchise history, the Devils swept the six-game season series against Pittsburgh and only allowed five goals in the process.