Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and Boston Bruinsleft wing Brad Marchand have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 21.
FIRST STAR – NATHAN MacKINNON, C, COLORADO AVALANCHE
MacKinnon registered 4-2—6, including a pair of game-winning goals, in three contests to power the Avalanche (26-16-3, 55 points) to a perfect week and their ninth straight victory, the longest such streak in the NHL this season. He scored the decisive goal in a 3-1 triumph over the Anaheim Ducks Jan. 15. MacKinnon then posted 2‑1—3, his eighth three-point performance of the season, in a 5-3 victory against the San Jose Sharks Jan. 18. He closed the week with 1-1—2, including the winning goal, in a 3-1 triumph over the New York Rangers Jan. 20. The 22-year-old Halifax, N.S., native – who will make his second All-Star Game appearance this week – shares the League lead with seven game-winning goals and ranks second overall with 23-36—59 in 45 outings this season. That includes an NHL-best 15-16—31 in 22 contests since the start of December, highlighted by points in all nine games during Colorado’s current winning streak (8-11—19) and goals in five straight (6-4—10).
SECOND STAR – CONNOR HELLEBUYCK, G, WINNIPEG JETS
Hellebuyck stopped 59 of 60 shots against, compiling a 2-0-0 record with a 0.48 goals-against average, .983 save percentage and one shutout to lift the Jets (28-13-7, 63 points) back atop the Central Division standings. He made 30 saves through overtime and denied both shootout attempts he faced in a 2-1 victory against the Calgary Flames Jan. 20. Hellebuyck then earned his 10th career shutout with 29 saves in a 1-0 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks Jan. 21. The 24-year-old Commerce, Mich., native – who will make his All-Star Game debut this week – ranks in the top 10 in the NHL this season in wins (2nd; 25), shutouts (t-2nd; 4), goals-against average (7th; 2.29) and save percentage (7th; .926) through 39 appearances. That includes a League-best 17 victories in 20 outings on home ice (17-1-1, 2.06 GAA, .931 SV%, 3 SO).
THIRD STAR – BRAD MARCHAND, LW, BOSTON BRUINS
Marchand led the NHL with 2-5—7 in four games to guide the Bruins (27-10-8, 62 points) to a 3-0-1 week, helping the team extend its point streak to 16 contests dating to Dec. 16 (12-0-4). After being held off the scoresheet in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars Jan. 15, Marchand bounced back with three straight multi-point outings: 1‑1—2 in a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Jan. 17, 1-2—3 in a 5-2 win against the New York Islanders Jan. 18 and 0-2—2 in a 4-1 triumph over the Canadiens Jan. 20. The 29-year-old Halifax, N.S., native – who will play in his second All-Star Game this week – shares the League lead with a +24 rating through 37 contests this season. He also paces Boston with 20-28—48, marking his seventh 20-goal campaign.