After going on a scoring binge, John Tavares has been named the NHL’s first star of the week, edging out Jonas Hiller — third star of the month for December — and Henrik Lundqvist in the process.
Tavares stuffed the stat sheet last week, scoring four goals and six assists to lead all skaters with 10 points. Highlights included his second-career five-point performance (in a 7-3 win over Dallas), followed by a three-assist effort against Toronto (in a 5-3 win over the Leafs). Tavares then capped things off by scoring the OT game-winner against the Stars over the weekend.
Hiller, who has been on fire over the last six weeks, posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.67 GAA and .941 save percentage to help the Ducks remain atop the NHL standings with a 35-8-5 record (75 points). The Swiss netminder, who was also named to his country’s national team last week, recorded his 19th career shutout against Detroit and now has a 14-game unbeaten streak on the line.
Lundqvist, the third star of the week, went 3-0-1 with a 1.97 GAA and .943 save percentage as the Rangers moved into third place in the Metropolitan Division. After struggling for much of this season, King Henrik looks to have rediscovered his game — his stellar week was highlighted with a 35-save victory over defending Cup champs Chicago on Jan. 8.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.