Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/29/13 at 02:01 PM ET
NEW YORK (April 29, 2013) – Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard , Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg and Edmonton Oilers right wing Nail Yakupov have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending April 28.
FIRST STAR – JIMMY HOWARD, G, DETROIT RED WINGS
Howard posted a 4-0-0 record, 0.75 goals-against average, .969 save percentage and two shutouts in four starts to backstop the Red Wings to their 22nd consecutive postseason berth, the longest active streak in all of North American major professional sports. He opened the week by stopping all 34 shots he faced in a 4-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes April 22. Howard then made 23 saves in a 3-1 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings April 24 and 20 stops in a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators April 25. He closed the season by recording 17 saves for his League-leading fifth shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Dallas Stars April 27. The 29-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., native played in 42 games this season, compiling a 21-13-7 record with a 2.13 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.
SECOND STAR – HENRIK ZETTERBERG, C, DETROIT RED WINGS
Zetterberg led all skaters with 10 points and eight assists in four games, guiding the Red Wings to the seventh seed in the Western Conference in his first season as the team’s captain. He also paced the League with five power-play points (0-5—5) and ranked second with a +6 rating. Zetterberg collected a season-high three assists in a 4-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes April 22. He then posted a pair of helpers against both the Los Angeles Kings April 24 and Nashville Predators April 25. Zetterberg finished the week by totaling three points (2-1—3), including the game-winning goal, in Detroit’s playoff-clinching 3-0 triumph over the Dallas Stars April 27. The 32-year-old Njurunda, Sweden, native played in 46 games this season and led the Red Wings with 37 assists while ranking second on the team in points (48) and game-winning goals (5).
THIRD STAR – NAIL YAKUPOV, RW, EDMONTON OILERS
Yakupov scored an NHL-best six goals in four games to help the Oilers finish the season with a pair of victories. He was held off the scoresheet in a 3-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks April 22, but bounced back with his 12th goal of the season in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks April 24. Yakupov then totaled five goals in the final two games of the season, scoring a pair in a 6-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild April 26 and recording his first career hat trick in a 7-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks April 27. The 19-year-old Nizhnekamsk, Russia, native played in 48 games this season and led all rookies with 17 goals and 31 points.
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