Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, Florida Panthers goaltender Harri Sateri and Vegas Golden Knights right wing Reilly Smith have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Feb. 4.
FIRST STAR – EVGENI MALKIN, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Malkin led all skaters with six goals and eight points (6-2—8 in 3 GP) as the Penguins (29-22-3, 61 points) gained four of a possible six points to finish the week in third place in the Metropolitan Division. Malkin began the week by recording his 12th career regular-season hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks Jan. 30. He followed it up with two goals and two assists in a 7-4 victory over the Washington Capitals on Feb. 2 before scoring Pittsburgh’s lone marker in a 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils Feb. 3. The 31-year-old Magnitogorsk, Russia, native leads all skaters in goals and points since Jan. 1 (15-9—24 in 14 GP) and sits tied for fourth among NHL scorers this season with 29-31—60 in 50 games.
SECOND STAR – HARRI SATERI, G, FLORIDA PANTHERS
Sateri went 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average and .946 save percentage to guide the Panthers (22-22-6, 50 points) to a perfect week and into a tie for fourth place in the Atlantic Division. Sateri opened the week by making 32 saves in a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders Jan. 30 to earn his first career win. On Feb. 1, he stopped 30 shots in a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres and finished the week with a 26-save performance in a 3-2 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings Feb. 3. The 28-year-old Toijala, Finland, native has appeared in seven games for Florida this season – his first NHL campaign – posting a 3-3-0 record with a 3.19 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.
THIRD STAR – REILLY SMITH, RW, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Smith finished second in goals and tied for third in points (4-1—5 in 4 GP) as the Golden Knights (35-13-4, 74 points) won three of four games, set a new benchmark for wins by a team in its inaugural NHL season and finished the week first overall in the Western Conference standings. Smith recorded one goal and one assist in a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames Jan. 30. He then notched one goal in a 3-2 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets Feb. 1 before being held pointless in a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild Feb. 2. Smith closed out the week with a two-goal outing in a 4-3 triumph over the Washington Capitals Feb. 4. In his seventh NHL season, the 26-year-old Toronto, Ont., native has recorded 16-25—41 in 52 games for the Golden Knights this season and ranks tied for third in the League with a plus-25 rating.