MATTHEWS, KREIDER AND FLEURY NAMED NHL ‘THREE STARS’ OF THE WEEK.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 1.
FIRST STAR – AUSTON MATTHEWS, C, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Matthews led the NHL with 4-2—6 in three outings, all multi-point performances, to help the Maple Leafs (17-12-7, 41 points) complete a perfect week, capped by a victory in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic. He registered 1-1—2 in both a 3-2 shootout win over the Florida Panthers Dec. 28 and a 3-2 overtime triumph against the Tampa Bay Lightning Dec. 29. Matthews then scored twice, including his first career overtime goal, in a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic Jan. 1. The 19-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., native paces rookies in goals (20), points (32) and game-winning goals (t-3) through 36 contests this season, aided by 6-3—9 during a six-game point streak and 14-5—19 in 17 outings dating to Nov. 23.
SECOND STAR – CHRIS KREIDER, LW, NEW YORK RANGERS
Kreider shared the League lead with four goals in three games (4-1—5) to power the Rangers (26-12-1, 53 points) to a trio of victories. He collected one assist in a 4-3 comeback win against the Ottawa Senators Dec. 27 and one goal in a 6-3 triumph over the Arizona Coyotes Dec. 29. Kreider then closed the calendar year with his second career hat trick (also Nov. 30, 2013) in a 6-2 victory against the Colorado Avalanche Dec. 31. The 25-year-old Boxford, Mass., native paces the Rangers with 15 goals and ranks second on the team with 29 points in 33 outings this season, including 7-2—9 in his last six contests.
THIRD STAR – MARC-ANDRE FLEURY, G, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Fleury turned aside 77 of the 82 shots he faced (2.13 GAA, .939 SV%) to guide the Penguins (25-8-5, 55 points) to three wins. He made 21 saves in a 5-2 triumph over the New Jersey Devils Dec. 27. Fleury then filled in for an injured Matt Murray, stopping all 19 shots he saw in the third period of a 3-2 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes Dec. 28. He capped the week with 37 saves in a 4-3 overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 31. The 32-year-old Sorel, Que., native owns a 12-5-4 record with a 3.12 goals-against average and .909 save percentage in 24 appearances this season.
* Information provided via NHL Press Release