Hall, Varlamov, Pacioretty named NHL’s three stars of week

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Edmonton’s Taylor Hall, Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov and Montreal’s Max Pacioretty have been named the three stars of the week, the league announced on Monday.

Hall, the first star, led all skaters with seven assists and nine points last week, registering a least a point in all four of Edmonton’s games. One of the few bright spots for the Oilers this year, Hall now ranks seventh in the NHL in scoring — with a career-high 77 points — to go along with career bests in goals (27), assists (50) and, perhaps most importantly, games played (72).

Varlamov, the second star, went 3-0-1 last week with a 1.42 GAA and .950 save percentage as the Avs remained in second in the ultra-tight Central Division, and remained within striking distance of St. Louis for first place. The highlights of Varlamov’s week were 1) a 31-save shutout over the Blues on Apr. 5 — his second shutout of the year — and 2) registering his 40th win of the year, which tied head coach Patrick Roy’s franchise record for most wins in a season.

Pacioretty, the third star, tied for the NHL lead with four goals as the Canadiens moved four points clear of likely first round opponent Tampa Bay for second place in the Atlantic Division, and the home ice advantage that goes along with it. The highlight of Pacioretty’s week was scoring a hat trick, five points and his NHL-best 11th game-winning goal in a 7-4 win over the Senators on Friday.

Glencross released from another PTO, this time by Avs

Washington Capitals v Ottawa Senators
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Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.

Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.

While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.

A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.

Slepyshev earns final Oilers roster spot; Draisaitl to AHL

Anton Slepyshev, Anton Lander
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The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.

The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.

The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.

But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.

“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”

Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.