Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 12/03/07 at 05:31 PM ET
Goaltenders Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending December 2.
Atlanta Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo and Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for November.
LUONGO, BRODEUR AND BACKSTROM NAMED NHL ‘THREE STARS’ OF THE WEEK
NEW YORK (December 3, 2007)—Goaltenders Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending December 2.
FIRST STAR—ROBERTO LUONGO, G, VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Luongo earned the NHL’s First Star award for the week after posting a 2-1-0 record with a 0.67 goals-against average, .976 save percentage and two shutouts. He began the week by making 26 saves for his second consecutive shutout in a 4-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks Nov. 27, blanked his third consecutive opponent with a 26-save effort in a 2-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Nov. 29 and turned aside 28 of 30 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild Dec 2. The first-period goal by the Wild’s Eric Belanger snapped Luongo’s franchise-record shutout streak at 210:34.
SECOND STAR—MARTIN BRODEUR, G, NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Brodeur posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.30 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and a milestone shutout as the Devils (14-10-2, 30 points) extended their winning streak to seven games. Brodeur made 19 saves in a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars Nov. 28, stopped all 27 shots in a 4-0 shutout of the Montreal Canadiens Nov. 30 and blocked 23 of 25 shots and all three shootout attempts in a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers Dec. 2. Brodeur’s shutout was the 94th of his NHL career, tying 1920s-30s star George Hainsworth for second place on the all-time list. Brodeur is nine shutouts shy of Terry Sawchuk’s League-record 103.
THIRD STAR—NIKLAS BACKSTROM, G, MINNESOTA WILD
Backstrom posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.32 goals-against average and .969 save percentage as the Wild (15-9-2, 32 points) moved into first place in the Northwest Division. Backstrom made 21 saves as Minnesota defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 3-1 Nov. 28, recorded 22 stops in 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues Nov. 30 and turned aside 19 of 20 shots in a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Dec. 2. Backstrom has posted a 12-4-1 record, 2.22 goals against average, .916 save percentage and two shutouts in 18 appearances this season.
KOVALCHUK, LUONGO, LECAVALIER NAMED NHL THREE STARS OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER
NEW YORK (December 3, 2007)—Atlanta Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo and Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for November.
FIRST STAR—ILYA KOVALCHUK, LW, ATLANTA THRASHERS
Kovalchuk scored a League-leading 14 goals and added eight assists as the Thrashers posted a 7-5-0 record. He tallied goals in nine of 12 games, beginning the month with consecutive hat tricks against Ottawa Nov. 1 and Tampa Bay Nov. 3. He later tallied the overtime game-winner against Florida Nov. 13, registered a goal and an assist for his ninth multi-point game of the season Nov. 19 against Tampa Bay and posted his second four-point game of the campaign (two goals, two assists) in a 5-1 victory at Washington Nov. 21. Kovalchuk leads all NHL goal-scorers with 22 and ranks second to Lecavalier in overall scoring with 37 points (22-15—37).
SECOND STAR—ROBERTO LUONGO, G, VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Luongo posted an 8-2-2 record with a 1.56 goals-against average, .940 save percentage and four shutouts as the Canucks (14-10-2, 30 points) climbed to second place in the Northwest Division. Luongo allowed two goals or fewer in eight of 12 contests, concluding the month with three consecutive shutouts and a franchise-record shutout streak that ended Sunday at 210:34. The streak surpassed Luongo’s prior best (182:37, Feb. 21-27, 2004 with Florida) and the Canucks’ record of 184:20 set by Ken Lockett (Mar. 29 to Apr. 4, 1975).
THIRD STAR—VINCENT LECAVALIER, C, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Lecavalier led all NHL scorers in November with 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 14 games. He recorded points in 10 of 14 games and set a franchise record with an eight-game multiple-point scoring streak from Nov. 3-19. The last NHL player to record as long a streak was Pittsburgh’s Jaromir Jagr in 1996 (10 games). Lecavalier leads the NHL scoring race with 41 points (18 goals, 23 assists), four ahead of Kovalchuk and five more than Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby (14-22—36) and Calgary’s Jarome Iginla (14-22—36).
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