Nikita Kucherov Named NHL's First Star Of The Week

(via NHL Communications) - 

FIRST STAR – NIKITA KUCHEROV, RW, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING Kucherov led the NHL with 5-4—9 in four games to power the Lightning (30-26-8, 68 points) to three wins. He opened the week with his second career hat trick and fourth career four-point effort (3-1—4), including the decisive goal, in a 5-1 triumph over the Ottawa Senators Feb. 27. Kucherov then registered 1-2—3, including the primary assist on the overtime winner, in a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes March 1. He added one goal in a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins March 3 before closing the week with one assist – as well as a highlight-reel goal to clinch the shootout – in a 2-1 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres March 4. The 23-year-old Maykop, Russia, native, who has 7-7—14 during a six-game point streak, ranks in the top 10 in the NHL in goals (t-10th; 28), points (10th; 63), power-play goals (t-3rd; 12) and power-play points (8th; 23) through 57 contests this season.

SECOND STAR – SERGEI BOBROVSKY, G, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS  Bobrovsky turned aside 87-of-88 shots, going 2-0-1 with a 0.33 goals-against average, .989 save percentage and two shutouts to guide the Blue Jackets (41-17-6, 88 points) to five out of a possible eight standings points. He made 29 saves in a 1-0 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens Feb. 28. Bobrovsky then posted consecutive shutouts (a first in his NHL career), stopping all 38 shots he faced in a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild March 2 and all 20 shots he saw in a 3-0 triumph against the New Jersey Devils March 5. The 28-year-old Novokuznetsk, Russia, native has appeared in 51 games this season, ranking in the top five in the League in wins (t-2nd; 34), goals-against average (3rd; 2.09), save percentage (5th; .929) and shutouts (t-4th; 5). His 34 victories are a single-season franchise record, breaking the mark set by Steve Mason in 2008-09 (33 W in 61 GP).

THIRD STAR – CAREY PRICE, G, MONTREAL CANADIENS  Price went 3-0-0 with a 0.66 goals-against average, .974 save percentage and one shutout to propel the Canadiens (37-21-8, 82 points) to a perfect 4-0-0 week. He earned his 39th career shutout with 26 saves in a 1-0 overtime victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets Feb. 28. Price then allowed only one goal in each of his next two starts, making 24 saves in a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators March 2 and 26 saves in a 4-1 triumph against the New York Rangers March 4. The 29-year-old Anahim Lake, B.C., native owns a 29-16-5 record, 2.31 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and three shutouts in 50 outings this season.

Photo Courtesy Of Getty Images

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