Ovechkin named NHL’s first star of the week

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After racking up five goals and eight points in four games, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was named the NHL’s first star of the week on Monday.

Most of Ovechkin’s damage was done in back-to-back thumpings of Winnipeg — he put up five total points (3G, 2A) as the Caps beat the Southeast division leader 4-1 on Mar. 21 and 6-1 on Mar. 22.

Those wins were huge for the Caps, as they now sit just five points back of Winnipeg (and two back of eighth-place New York Rangers) for playoff jockeying.

As for Ovechkin, he’s currently in the midst of a season-long scoring streak (five games) and now leads the Caps with 16 goals on the year.

Second star of the week went to Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, the second time this season the Finnish netminder has won a star of the week (he was third star on Mar. 4).

Backstrom went a perfect 3-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .972 save percentage for the Wild as the club extended its season-long winning streak to five games.

The highlights of Backstrom’s week included a season-high 36-save performance in a 4-2 win over Detroit, and picking up his 27th career shutout with a 33-save effort in a 2-0 win over San Jose.

Third star of the week went to Toronto’s Nazem Kadri.

Kadri finished second in the league last week with seven points in three games. He also recorded his third three-point performance of the season in a 4-2 win over Tampa Bay, racking up three assists and a plus-3 rating.

The 22-year-old now leads the Maple Leafs with 34 points in 32 games this season and is tied for first on the team in goals (14) and assists (20).