Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, Detroit Red Wings left wing Tomas Tatar and New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 18.
FIRST STAR – DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN, D, WINNIPEG JETS
Byfuglien paced all defensemen with three goals and shared third among all skaters with six points (3-3—6) in four games to power the Jets (25-14-8, 58 points) to four straight wins. He opened the week with 2-1—3, including the game-winning goal, in an 8-2 victory over the Florida Panthers Jan. 13. It marked Byfuglien’s first multi-goal and three-point performances since March 16, 2014 (2-1—3 vs. DAL). After being held off the scoresheet in a 2-1 triumph over the Dallas Stars Jan. 15, Byfuglien collected two assists – his sixth multi-point game of the season – in a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Jan. 16. He closed the week with his 12th goal of the season, tied for first among defensemen, in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes Jan. 18. The 29-year-old Roseau, Minn., native ranks seventh among blueliners with 12-19—31 in 47 appearances this season, including 4-7—11 in his past nine outings.
SECOND STAR – TOMAS TATAR, LW, DETROIT RED WINGS
Tatar shared first among all players with five goals and seven points, scoring in four straight games to propel the Red Wings (26-11-9, 61 points) to four consecutive victories. He began the week with one goal in each of his first two contests – a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Jan. 13 and a 3-2 overtime victory against the St. Louis Blues Jan. 15. Tatar then set a career high with three points (2-1—3), including the game-winning goal, in a 5-2 triumph over the Nashville Predators Jan. 17. He capped the week with 1-1—2, his seventh multi-point game of the season, in a 6-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Jan. 18. The 24-year-old Ilava, Slovakia, native shares seventh in the NHL and paces the Red Wings with 21 goals in 46 contests this season. He also is tied for third on the club with 34 points, including 9-3—12 in his past 12 appearances.
THIRD STAR – KYLE OKPOSO, RW, NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Okposo shared the League lead with five goals and tied for third with six points (5-1—6) in three outings to help the Islanders (30-14-1, 61 points) gain four of a possible six standings points. After being held off the scoresheet in a 3-0 triumph over the New York Rangers Jan. 13, Okposo set a career high with four goals, including a natural hat trick and the game-winning marker in the third period, in a 6-3 comeback victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Jan. 16. He became the first Islanders player to post four goals in one game since Dec. 3, 2011 (Matt Moulson) and the first to do so at home since April 15, 1992 (Steve Thomas). Okposo then closed the week with 1-1—2, his 11th multi-point performance of the season, in a 6-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Jan. 17. The 26-year-old St. Paul, Minn., native ranks second on the Islanders with 14-29—43 in 45 contests this season, including 7-9—16 in his past 13 games.