Monday, February 25, 2019

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov and Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Feb. 24.


Varlamov went 3-0-0 with a 1.34 goals-against average, .964 save percentage and one shutout to help the Avalanche (27-24-11, 65 points) post four straight wins and move within one point of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Varlamov turned aside all 40 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights Feb. 18, his fifth career shutout with at least 40 saves (and first since Feb. 14, 2018 at MTL: 44 SV). He then made 26 saves in a 7-1 triumph against the Winnipeg Jets Feb. 20. Varlamov capped the week with 41 stops, his 33rd career 40‑save performance and third of 2018-19, in a 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Feb. 22. The 30-year-old Samara, Russia, native has appeared in 41 total games this season, compiling a 17-15-8 record along with a 2.79 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and two shutouts.


Barkov registered multiple points in all three of his games, totaling 3-4—7 (including 2‑2—4 on the power play) to propel the Panthers (27-25-8, 62 points) to a pair of wins. He collected 1-2—3, including his second straight decisive goal, in a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Feb. 19. Barkov then posted 1-1—2 in each of his next two outings, a 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Feb. 21 and a 6-1 triumph against the Los Angeles Kings Feb. 23. The 23-year-old Tampere, Finland, native – who was a finalist for the 2017-18 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy – tops Florida with 25-39—64 in 60 contests this season. Barkov’s 25 goals are three shy of his career high set in 2015-16 (66 GP), while his 11 power-play goals and 24 power-play points both are personal bests during his six NHL seasons.


Bobrovsky (2-1-0, 1.01 GAA, .963 SV%, 2 SO) stopped 77 of the 80 shots he faced, including all 48 he saw over his final two starts, to help the Blue Jackets (35-23-3, 73 points) split their four games and maintain third place in the Metropolitan Division. He opened the week with 29 saves in a 3-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Feb. 19. Bobrovsky then became the first goaltender in Columbus history to earn shutouts on consecutive days, turning aside 22 shots in a 3-0 win over the Ottawa Senators Feb. 22 and 26 attempts in a 4-0 victory against the San Jose Sharks Feb. 23. The 30-year-old Novokuznetsk, Russia, native and two-time Vezina Trophy winner ranks third in the NHL with five shutouts and sixth with 26 victories in 45 total outings this season (26-18-1, 2.75 GAA, .908 SV%, 5 SO).

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