Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Smith and Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Phil Kessel have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 14.
FIRST STAR – JOHNNY GAUDREAU, LW, CALGARY FLAMES
Gaudreau led the NHL with six assists and eight points in four games (2-6—8) to propel the Flames (25-16-4, 54 points) to a perfect week, helping the team extend its overall winning streak to seven contests. He recorded his fifth career three-assist performance in a 3-2 overtime victory against the Minnesota Wild Jan. 9. Gaudreau then scored the decisive goal in back-to-back games, posting 1-1—2 in a 5-1 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning Jan. 11 and his 16th career game-winner in a 4-2 victory against the Florida Panthers Jan. 12. He closed the week with two assists in a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Jan. 14. The 24-year-old Salem, N.J., native ranks second in the NHL with 15-39—54 in 45 outings this season, including 2-11—13 during an active seven-game point streak.
SECOND STAR – MIKE SMITH, G, CALGARY FLAMES
Smith stopped 104 of 108 shots against, going 3-0-0 with a 1.32 goals-against average and .963 save percentage to help the Flames sweep a road trip of at least four games for the first time since Dec. 9-18, 2007 (6-0-0). He made 33 saves in each of his first two contests, a 3-2 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild Jan. 9 and a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Jan. 11. Smith then turned aside 38 of 39 shots in a 4-1 triumph against the Carolina Hurricanes Jan. 14, capping Calgary’s perfect road swing. The 35-year-old Kingston, Ont., native owns a 20-13-3 record in 38 appearances this season (2.46 GAA, .924 SV%, 2 SO). That includes a personal six-game winning streak dating to Dec. 31 (1.99 GAA, .941 SV%).
THIRD STAR – PHIL KESSEL, RW, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Kessel registered 2-3—5 in two games, scoring the winning goal in each contest to lift the Penguins (24-19-3, 51 points) into the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. He collected 1-2—3, his fourth three-point performance of the season, in a 4-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings Jan. 13. Kessel then added 1-1—2, including his 53rd career game-winning goal, in a 5-2 triumph over the New York Rangers Jan. 14. In doing so, the 30-year-old Madison, Wis., native became the third U.S.-born player in NHL history to reach the 20-goal milestone in 10 or more consecutive seasons (2008-09 – present). Kessel leads the Penguins and ranks eighth in the League with 20-32—52 through 46 outings in 2017-18.
* Information provided via NHL Press Release