Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/30/12 at 01:48 PM ET
NEW YORK (January 30, 2012)—Toronto Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski, Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne and Ottawa Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson and have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 29.
FIRST STAR—MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, C, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Grabovski tallied a League-leading five points (one goal, four assists) in two games during a shortened week prior to the All-Star break as the Maple Leafs (25-19-5) recorded back-to-back victories and drew even in points with the #7 Florida Panthers and #8 New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Grabovski recorded one assist in a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders Jan. 23 and tallied a season-high four points (one goal, three assists) in a 4-3 overtime win on Long Island Jan. 24 that gave Toronto a sweep of the home-and-home series. Playing in his fourth season with the Maple Leafs, Grabovski increased his season scoring total to 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) in 43 games.
SECOND STAR—PEKKA RINNE, G, NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Rinne extended his winning streak to nine games by posting a 2-0-0 record, 1.00 goals-against average and .961 save percentage as the Predators (30-16-4) closed within three points of first place in the NHL overall standings at the All-Star break. Rinne made 25 saves in a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Jan. 23 and stopped 24 shots in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Jan. 24. Rinne improved his season record to 28-11-4 with a 2.36 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and four shutouts in 45 appearances. He has won each of his past nine starts, allowing two goals or fewer in every contest.
THIRD STAR—DANIEL ALFREDSSON, RW, OTTAWA SENATORS
Alfredsson tallied goals in each of the Senators’ two games leading into the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend and was a star attraction in front of a home crowd as Ottawa hosted the League’s mid-season showcase. He tallied his team’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss at Los Angeles Jan. 23 and notched the 406th goal of his NHL career in a 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes Jan. 24.
Serving as captain of Team Alfredsson in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game, the 39-year-old Gothenburg, Sweden native drew a standing ovation from the Scotiabank Place crowd with a pair of goals 1:31 apart in the second period that turned a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 lead over Team Zdeno Chara. Alfredsson also tallied an assist and recorded seven shots on goal, tied with Team Chara’s Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks for the most among all players in the 12-9 loss to Team Chara.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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