On Monday, the NHL announced that Los Angeles goalie Ben Scrivens was named its first star of the week, followed by Dallas forward Tyler Seguin and Wild netminder Josh Harding.
Replacing the injured Jonathan Quick, Scrivens stole the show last week by going 3-0-1 with a 0.66 GAA and .977 save percentage, pushing the Kings to 14-6-1 on the year. The highlight of Scrivens’ week came in the last two games, as he posted back-to-back shutouts against the Devils and Rangers — all told, the former Leafs ‘tender now has a consecutive shutout streak of 155:02 and now leads the NHL in shutouts (three), goals-against average (1.24) and save percentage (.955).
Seguin, the league’s second star, led all skaters with five goals and tied for first with seven points. In each game — three Dallas victories — Seguin recorded at least one point, but the highlight of his weeek came in a 7-3 win over Calgary on Nov. 14, in which he scored a career-high four goals. Seguin now sits sixth in the NHL in scoring, with 23 points.
Third star went to Harding, who has continued his improbable run of consecutive wins at home (10) and helped Minnesota secure the most points (30) through its first 21 games of the season in franchise history. Harding went 3-0-0 last week with a 1.38 GAA and .939 save percentage and is now 12-2-2 on the year, sitting right behind Scrivens in all the NHL’s major statistical goaltending categories.
As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.
Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.
Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.
That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.
Per NHL.com, Stamkos took the warmup and participated in line rushes centering Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan.
It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.
To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.
Steve Stamkos took the team bus to tonight’s Eastern Conference Game 7 in Pittsburgh. As TVA noted, it was the first time he’s arrived early for a game in these playoffs.
In his pregame presser, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper refused to answer any questions about Stamkos’ availability.
And then Stamkos took the warmup.
As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.
“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”
No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.
EDINA, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise has been rehabilitating his back injury without surgery, putting him on track to be at full strength by September.
Parise said Thursday he’s “happy with the way everything’s going.” He said he’s been able to work out as he normally does during the summer, despite missing the playoffs because of the injury.
Parise said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready to play for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey tournament.
Parise joined teammates Erik Haula, Jason Pominville, Nate Prosser, Jared Spurgeon and Jason Zucker at an autograph signing to raise money for people affected by the wildfires in Alberta. The parents of Spurgeon’s wife, Danielle, lost their home to a fire in the Edmonton area.