NEW YORK (Dec. 22, 2014) – Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec. 21.
FIRST STAR – ANZE KOPITAR, C, LOS ANGELES KINGS
Kopitar led the NHL with nine points and eight assists in three games, helping the Kings (17-11-6, 40 points) win two of three starts to maintain a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. He opened the week by collecting one assist in a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues Dec. 16. Kopitar then set a career high with five points and matched a career high with four assists in a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over the Blues in the second half of their home-and-home set Dec. 18. He capped the week by posting three helpers, his sixth multi-point performance of the season, in a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes Dec. 20. The 27-year-old Jesenice, Slovenia, native has recorded consecutive three-point games for the first time since October 2009, when he had two such stretches. The 11th overall selection by the Kings in the 2005 NHL Draft, Kopitar ranks third on the club with 7-15—22 in 31 outings this season.
SECOND STAR – JAKUB VORACEK, RW, PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Voracek tied for second among all players with seven points (3-4—7) in four games to power the Flyers (13-14-6, 32 points) to five out of a possible eight standings points and vault into the top spot in NHL scoring. After being held off the scoresheet in a 3-1 defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning Dec. 16, Voracek potted his 12th goal of the season – and also found the back of the net in the shootout – in a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers Dec. 18. He then led the Flyers to a pair of weekend wins, matching a career high with four assists/points in a 7-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Dec. 20 and recording two goals, including the overtime winner, in a 4-3 triumph against the Winnipeg Jets Dec. 21. The 25-year-old Kladno, Czech Republic, native has found the scoresheet in 26 of 33 games this season, leading the NHL with 44 points and 30 assists (tied with teammate Claude Giroux).
THIRD STAR – MARC-ANDRE FLEURY, G, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Fleury went 3-0-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average, .971 save percentage and one shutout to help the Penguins (22-6-4, 48 points) record a trio of victories and maintain the top spot in the Eastern Conference. He posted 28 saves in a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Dec. 15. Fleury then denied all 29 shots he faced to earn his League-leading sixth shutout of the season in a 1-0 triumph over the Colorado Avalanche Dec. 18. With his performance, Fleury established a career high for shutouts in one campaign (in 24 GP), surpassing his previous mark of five set in 2006-07 (67 GP) and equaled in 2013-14 (64 GP). He closed the week with 45 saves, his highest single-game total since Dec. 23, 2009, in a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers Dec. 20. The 30-year-old Sorel, Que., native ranks second in the NHL with 19 wins in 25 appearances this season and also places in the top five in save percentage (4th; .933) and goals-against average (5th; 1.97).