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Anderson, Stalberg, Malkin named NHL's Three Stars

Monday, 01.16.2012 / 12:15 PM / News

NHL.com

Earning the NHL's Third Star honors a week ago apparently wasn't good enough for Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson.

Over the ensuing seven days, Anderson won three more games -- including a shutout of the League-leading New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden -- to extend his personal run to 8-0-1 over his last nine starts.

Anderson was named Monday as the NHL's First Star for the past week, with Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg earning Second Star and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin taking Third Star.

Anderson, who has the Senators rocketing up the East standings, allowed just three goals in the three starts he made, while posting a .970 save percentage. Besides blanking the Rangers with a 34-save performance, he turned aside 29 of 30 shots against the Penguins and 33 of 35 to defeat the Northeast Division rival Canadiens.

"He's just so steady back there right now," teammate Jason Spezza said after the 3-0 win in New York. "You can tell he has confidence. When your goalie exudes that kind of confidence, your team exudes that kind of confidence. He's done a great job of calming things down when we get scrambling a little bit. There's times of the game when the other team is going to take momentum, and he's done a good job to take it back."

Stalberg already has a career-best 14 goals this season after putting five on the board last week, including his first career hat trick to highlight the Blackhawks' 5-2 win Tuesday over the Blue Jackets. Among his three goals that night was the game-winner, and he added the decisive goal again two nights later as the Hawks topped the Wild. Stalberg was held scoreless Saturday by the Red Wings, but bounced back one night later with a goal and an assist in a win over the Sharks.

"It was fun to get that," Stalberg said of his hat trick. "It was something I had a couple of chances before to get, and it hasn't happened, so great feeling obviously. A couple of guys made some nice plays out there for me."

Malkin continued his recent tear that has seen him move to within one point of Vancouver's Henrik Sedin for the NHL scoring lead. His week started quietly enough, with single-goal performances against the Senators and Panthers sandwiched around a scoreless outing against the Capitals. But against the Lightning on Sunday, he erupted for a natural hat trick in the third period to propel the Penguins to a 6-3 victory. He also assisted on two goals earlier in the game to up his point total to 51 for the season.

"I don't think about that," Malkin said about the scoring race. "We played a great game and got two points and have done a great job the last three games."

I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game