Bobrovsky, Okposo, Niemi named NHL’s three stars of week


Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was named the NHL’s first star of the week on Monday, joined by Islanders forward Kyle Okposo (second star) and San Jose goalie Antti Niemi (third).

Bobrovsky earned first star honors thanks to a 2-0-1 record with a 1.58 GAA and .950 save percentage last week, as the Jackets collected five of a possible six points and moved into third in the Metropolitan Division. Bobrovsky was huge in both of Columbus’ victories, stopping 39 shots in a 4-1 victory over Detroit, then making 32 saves — and more in the shootout — in a 2-1 decision over Minnesota.

Okposo, the second star, led all skaters with seven points last week — which included three multi-point games — as the Isles won two of three contests. The American forward had a career-high three assists in a win over Vancouver, notched two more helpers in a 4-3 loss to San Jose and then scored a goal and an assist in a win over Buffalo on Saturday. Incredibly, Okposo — who’d never scored more than 52 points in a season prior to this year — now sits fourth in the NHL with 69 points through 68 games.

Third star went to Niemi, who held off a strong challenge for the No. 1 gig in San Jose — from backup Alex Stalock — to win all three games last week, posting a 1.67 GAA and .950 save percentage. Thanks to Niemi’s strong play, the Sharks have now won six straight and are keeping pace with Anaheim for tops in the Pacific Division.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
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Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.