After notching seven points in three games — each game being a multi-point effort — Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn was named the NHL’s first star of the week.
Benn, 22, was everywhere for the Stars last week as they clung to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. In a 5-4 loss to Detroit, he had a goal and two assists. In a 4-1 win over Nashville, he had a goal and an assist. And in a 4-1 win over Edmonton he scored twice, which included his fourth game-winning goal of the season. Benn now has points in 10 of his last 11 games and leads Dallas in scoring with 13G-28A-41PTS in 40 games — that puts him in a tie for 14th in league scoring with Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson.
Second star went to Toronto RW Joffrey Lupul. Like Benn, he too notched seven points in three games last week — all Toronto wins — and recorded the 300th point of his NHL career in a 7-3 victory over Tampa Bay. Here’s a fun fact for you: Lupul (seventh overall) became just the fifth player from the 2002 NHL Draft class to reach the 300-point milestone, joining Rick Nash (first), Alex Semin (13th), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (eighth) and Jarret Stoll (36th).
Third star went to Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson. He posted a 3-0-1 record, 2.41 GAA and .929 save percentage as the Senators improbably moved to fifth in the Eastern Conference. I say improbably because of how awful both Ottawa and Anderson were to start the season — the Sens started 1-5 and were outscored 30-16; Anderson was on the hook for four of those losses and 22 of the goals (he also got hooked from games twice) and seemed in danger of losing his starting gig to career journeyman Alex Auld.
So good on ya, Andy.