Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn, Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending April 12.
FIRST STAR – JAMIE BENN, LW, DALLAS STARS
Benn led all players with five goals and 10 points to capture his first career Art Ross Trophy and power the Stars (41-31-10, 92 points) to three consecutive victories. He registered at least three points in all three of his appearances, including 2-1—3 in a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks April 6 and 0-3—3 in a 4-0 triumph over the Anaheim Ducks April 8. Benn closed the season by recording 3-1—4 in a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators April 11, including his second career hat trick and an assist with 8.5 seconds remaining in regulation to surpass New York Islanders center John Tavares (38-48—86) by one point for the scoring title. The 25-year-old Victoria, B.C., native established career highs in goals (35), assists (52) and points (87) while skating in all 82 games this season. That included 12-11—23 in the final 12 games of the campaign, highlighted by five three-point performances.
SECOND STAR – ONDREJ PAVELEC, G, WINNIPEG JETS
Pavelec did not allow any goals over three starts, stopping all 83 shots he faced while posting a 2-0-1 record to lead the Jets (43-26-13, 99 points) to their second playoff berth in franchise history. He made 32 saves in a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild April 6 and stopped all 30 shots he faced the following night in a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues April 7. Pavelec then capped the week with 21 saves in a 1-0 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche April 9, becoming the first goaltender in franchise history to record three consecutive shutouts and the first to do so for any team since April 7-11, 2013 (Brian Elliott w/ STL). The 27-year-old Kladno, Czech Republic, native appeared in 50 games this season, compiling a 22-16-8 record with a 2.28 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and five shutouts. That included a 9?2?1 mark in his final 12 starts, during which he allowed two or fewer goals nine times.
THIRD STAR – MARK STONE, RW, OTTAWA SENATORS
Stone ranked second with four goals (4-1—5) to lift the Senators (43-26-13, 99 points) to three straight wins and their 15th playoff berth in franchise history, capping a dramatic 23-4-4 run to end the season. He posted his first career multi-goal performance, including the overtime winner, in a 4-3 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins April 7. Stone then collected one assist in a 3-0 victory over the New York Rangers April 9 before closing the season with two goals in the team’s playoff-clinching 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers April 11. The 22-year-old Winnipeg native led all rookies with 26-38—64 in 80 outings this season. That included a nine-game point streak to end the season (8-5—13), the longest such run by any rookie in franchise history, and 14-21—35 during the club’s 31-game surge to the playoffs.