Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/13/12 at 04:28 PM ET
NEW YORK (February 13, 2012)—Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith , Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Feb. 12.
FIRST STAR—MIKE SMITH, G, PHOENIX COYOTES
Smith recorded four wins in four starts, posting a League-best 0.74 goals-against average and .975 save percentage, to lift the Coyotes into sole possession of the eighth seed in the Western Conference. He made 30 saves in a 3-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings Feb. 6, turned aside 28 shots in a 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars Feb. 7 and recorded 23 saves in a 2-1 overtime win against the Calgary Flames Feb. 9. Smith then stopped all 38 shots he faced in a 3-0 shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks Feb. 11, his third blank sheet of the season. His 38 saves set a career high for saves in a shutout, six more than his previous best (32 saves in a 1-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks, Feb. 10, 2007). The 29-year-old goaltender has a career-best 23 wins and .925 save percentage in 44 appearances.
SECOND STAR—EVGENI MALKIN, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Malkin led all skaters with eight points (three goals, five assists) and posted a +6 rating in three games as the Penguins moved into fifth place in the Eastern Conference. He collected one assist and scored in the shootout in a 3-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Feb. 7, recorded five points (one goal, four assists) in an 8-5 win against the Winnipeg Jets Feb. 11 and scored two goals in a 4-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning Feb. 12. Malkin has scored in eight straight home games, tying the longest home scoring streak in the NHL this season (with teammate James Neal). The 2008-09 NHL scoring champion leads the League with 69 points (32 goals, 37 assists) in a bid for his second career Art Ross Trophy.
THIRD STAR—DAVID PERRON, LW, ST. LOUIS BLUES
Perron led the NHL with six goals and was +5 in four games as the Blues climbed within three points of the Detroit Red Wings for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. He scored twice, including the winner, in a 3-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators Feb. 7 and recorded another goal in a 4-3 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils Feb. 9. Perron then collected two goals and an assist in a 3-2 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche Feb. 11 and scored for the fourth consecutive game in a 3-0 victory against the San Jose Sharks Feb. 12. The win improved the Blues’ record to 16-0-3 in their past 19 games at Scottrade Center. The 23-year-old Sherbrooke, Quebec native has 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 30 games.
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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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