Stamkos, Kessel and Kesler named three stars of the week


After combining for 12 goals over the past seven days, Steve Stamkos, Phil Kessel and Ryan Kesler were named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 27.

Stamkos, the first star, led the NHL in points (with seven) as the Lightning won three straight to move atop the Atlantic Division. He had four points in a win over Chicago, an assist in a win over Buffalo and two points — plus the shootout winner — in a 4-3 victory over Florida. Stamkos, 23, now sits second in the NHL in points (17), one back of Sidney Crosby.

Second star went to Kessel, who led the NHL in goals last week with five — impressive, considering he took 10 total shots, good for a gaudy shooting percentage of 50. Kessel, 26, scored his fourth career hat trick against Anaheim, then potted goals against Columbus and Pittsburgh, meaning he now has at least one point in nine of Toronto’s 12 games this year.

Third star went to Kesler, who scored four goals and tied for third in points last week, with six. He was an instrumental figure in Vancouver going 5-1-1 on its season-long road trip, scoring two goals — including the game-winner — in a 3-2 OT win over St. Louis to close out the trip.

In addition to these three, last week had to be a pretty good one for Team USA Olympic GM David Poile. Kessel and Kesler figure to be prominent contributors for the Americans in Sochi, and they’re the first two U.S. players to earn star of the week honors this season.