Monday, April 7, 2014
NHL Three Stars of Week
FIRST STAR – TAYLOR HALL, LW, EDMONTON OILERS
Hall led all players with seven assists and nine points, finding the scoresheet in four consecutive games to help the Oilers (28-42-9, 65 points) pick up a pair of wins. He matched a season high with 1-3—4 in a 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks April 1. Hall then collected an assist in each of the next two games: a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks April 2 and a 3-2 shootout victory over the Phoenix Coyotes April 4. He capped the week by recording 1-2—3, his sixth game of three or more points this season, in a 4-2 win over the Ducks April 6. The 22-year-old native of Calgary leads the Oilers and ranks seventh in the NHL with a career-high 77 points this season. He also has posted career highs in goals (27, tied), assists (50), shots on goal (244) and games played (72).
SECOND STAR – SEMYON VARLAMOV, G, COLORADO AVALANCHE
Varlamov compiled a 3-0-1 record with a 1.42 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and one shutout to help the Avalanche (50-21-7, 107 points) move two points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks (45-19-15, 105 points) for the No. 2 seed in the Central Division. He opened the week by making 24 saves in a 3-2 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets April 1. Varlamov then made 29 stops, and denied all three shootout attempts he faced, in a 3-2 triumph over the New York Rangers April 3. He followed that up with 31 saves for his second shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues April 5, before closing the week with 30 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins April 6. The 25-year-old native of Samara, Russia, leads the League with 40 wins this season, matching Patrick Roy's franchise record established in 2000-01. He also places fourth in the NHL with a .927 save percentage and has a 2.41 goals-against average in 62 appearances.
THIRD STAR – MAX PACIORETTY, LW, MONTREAL CANADIENS
Pacioretty tied for the League lead with four goals and also contributed two assists to help the Canadiens (45-27-7, 97 points) move four points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning (42-27-9, 93 points) for the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Division. After being held off the scoresheet in a 3-1 loss to the Lightning April 1, Pacioretty recorded a career-high 3-2—5, including his third hat trick and League-leading 11th game-winning goal of the season, in a 7-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators April 4. He then added his team-leading 39th goal of the season, tied for third in the NHL, in a 5-3 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings April 5. The 25-year-old native of New Canaan, Conn., leads the Canadiens with 60 points in 70 games, five off his career high set in 2011-12, and also is the first Montreal player to post three hat tricks in one season since Pierre Larouche in 1980-81.