New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog and Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 8.
FIRST STAR – MIKA ZIBANEJAD, C, NEW YORK RANGERS
Zibanejad topped the NHL with seven goals in three games to help the Rangers (36-28-4, 76 points) move within three points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. He potted New York’s lone goal in a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues March 3. Zibanejad then scored five times, including the overtime winner, in a 6-5 victory against the Washington Capitals March 5. He became the third player in Rangers history to record a five-goal game, joining Don Murdoch (Oct. 12, 1976 at MNS) and Mark Pavelich (Feb. 23, 1983 vs. HFD). Zibanejad also became the second player in League history to register a five-goal performance that included an overtime winner. The other: Detroit’s Sergei Fedorov (Dec. 26, 1996 vs. WSH). Zibanejad added one more goal in a 6-4 loss to the New Jersey Devils March 7. The 26-year-old Huddinge, Sweden, native ranks fifth in the NHL with a career-high 39 goals in 55 games this season (39-33—72). That includes a League-best 21 goals in his past 20 outings dating to Jan. 31 (21-12—33).
SECOND STAR – GABRIEL LANDESKOG, LW, COLORADO AVALANCHE
Landeskog led the NHL with 3-6—9 in four contests to power the Avalanche (41-19-8, 90 points) to a 2-1-1 week and within two points of first place in the Central Division. The Colorado captain collected the primary assist on Logan O’Connor’s decisive goal in a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings March 2. Landeskog then posted multiple points in each of his next three games, registering 1-2—3 in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks March 4, 1-1—2 in a 6-3 loss against the Vancouver Canucks March 6 and 1-2—3 in a 4-3 triumph over San Jose Sharks March 8. The 27-year-old Stockholm, Sweden, native ranks fourth on the Avalanche with 21-21—42 in 52 appearances this season, including 5-8—13 during an eight-game point streak dating to Feb. 22.
THIRD STAR – LEON DRAISAITL, C, EDMONTON OILERS
Draisaitl placed second in the NHL with 4-4—8 in four outings as the Oilers (37-24-8, 82 points) went 3-1-0 to move within two points of first place in the Pacific Division. Draisaitl posted 4-1—5, his first career four-goal game and second career five-point performance (also Nov. 14, 2019 vs. COL: 0-5—5), in an 8-3 win over the Nashville Predators March 2. He added one assist in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Dallas Stars March 3 and two helpers in a 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks March 5 before being held off the scoresheet in a 4-1 triumph over the Columbus Blue Jackets March 7. The 24-year-old Cologne, Germany, native tops the NHL with a career-high 67 assists and 110 points through 69 games this season (43-67—110).