VORACEK, RAANTA AND GAGNER NAMED NHL ‘THREE STARS’ OF THE WEEK
Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek, New York Rangers goaltender Antti Raanta and Columbus Blue Jackets center Sam Gagner have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec. 11.
FIRST STAR – JAKUB VORACEK, RW, PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Voracek led the NHL with six assists and nine points in four outings to help the Flyers (18-10-3, 39 points) complete a perfect week and extend their overall winning streak to nine games, their longest such run since April 2-22, 1995 (also 9-0-0). He scored his eighth career overtime goal – and second of the season – in a 3-2 victory against the Florida Panthers Dec. 6. Voracek then registered 1-3—4 in each of his next two contests: a 6-5 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers Dec. 8 and a 4-2 win against the Dallas Stars Dec. 10. In doing so, he became the first Flyers player to collect four-plus points in consecutive team games since Dec. 31, 1997 – Jan. 3, 1998 (Eric Lindros). Voracek closed the week without a point in a 1-0 overtime victory against the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 11. The 27-year-old Kladno, Czech Republic, native paces the Flyers and ranks third in the League with 11-21—32 in 31 appearances this season.
SECOND STAR – ANTTI RAANTA, G, NEW YORK RANGERS
Raanta went 3-0-0 with a 0.33 goals-against average, .984 save percentage and two shutouts in three games to lead the Rangers (20-9-1, 41 points) to six of a possible eight standings points. He turned aside 17 shots in a 2-1 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets Dec. 8. Raanta then recorded consecutive shutouts, making 26 saves in a 1-0 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks Dec. 9 and 19 saves in a 5-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils Dec. 11. In doing so, he became the first Rangers goaltender to post shutouts in consecutive team games since March 17-19, 2003 (Mike Dunham). The 27-year-old Rauma, Finland, native has allowed two or fewer goals in 10 of his 11 outings this season, compiling an 8-1-0 record with a 1.65 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and two shutouts.
THIRD STAR – SAM GAGNER, C, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Gagner collected 3-3—6 in three contests to help the Blue Jackets (17-5-4, 38 points) pick up three wins and extend their overall point streak to eight games (7-0-1), including six straight victories. He registered 2-2—4, his fourth career four-point game and first since Dec. 23, 2014, in a 4-1 triumph over the Arizona Coyotes Dec. 5. Gagner added 1-1—2 in a 4-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 9 before being held off the scoresheet in a 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders Dec. 10. The 27-year-old London, Ont., native has 11-8—19 in 25 appearances this season, already surpassing his totals from 2015-16 (8-8—16 in 53 GP).
* Information provided via NHL Press Release