NEW YORK (January 2, 2012) -- Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos, Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin and Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for the week ending Jan. 1.
FIRST STAR -- STEVEN STAMKOS, C, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Stamkos surged to the NHL goal-scoring lead by notching six goals as the Lightning (17-17-3) posted three consecutive victories and moved within six points of the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Stamkos scored twice, including the game-winning goal, in a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Dec. 27 and tallied once in a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 29. He ended the week by recording the fifth hat trick of his NHL career and second game-winner in three outings to key a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Dec. 31. The first overall selection in the 2008 NHL Draft enters the New Year with a League-leading 26 goals, four more than second-place Marian Gaborik of the New York Rangers. Stamkos is the only NHL player to have scored at least 40 goals in each of the past three calendar years.
SECOND STAR -- ALEX OVECHKIN, LW, WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Ovechkin recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) and a +4 rating as the Capitals (20-15-2) won three of four starts. He tallied points in each game, extending his point streak to six games (6-3--9). The Capitals captain opened the post-holiday schedule with one goal in a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 26 and finished the week with three consecutive multiple-point performances. He earned a pair of assists in a 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers Dec. 28, notched his first two-goal game since Oct. 29 in a 3-1 victory over Buffalo Dec. 30 and keyed a four-goal Washington rally by scoring twice in the third period of a 4-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets Dec. 31. The two-time NHL MVP increased his season points total to 31 (16 goals, 15 assists) in 37 games. He leads the Capitals in goals, power-play goals (five) and shots (143).
THIRD STAR -- JONATHAN QUICK, G, LOS ANGELES KINGS
Quick helped the Kings (19-14-6) jump to first place in the Pacific Division by posting a 3-0-0 record with a 1.33 goals-against average and .958 save percentage, including victories over the first- and second-ranked teams in the Western Conference. After making 26 saves in a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes Dec. 26, Quick stopped all 38 shots he faced for his League-leading fifth shutout of the season in a 2-0 victory over the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks Dec. 28. He concluded the week by turning aside 27 of 28 shots in a 4-1 win over the Northwest Division-leading Vancouver Canucks Dec. 31. Quick improved his season record to 17-10-5 with a 2.05 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in 32 appearances.