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Smith, Malkin, Perron are NHL's Three Stars

Monday, 02.13.2012 / 1:00 PM / News


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Smith, Malkin, Perron are NHL's Three Stars
The Phoenix Coyotes have re-emerged as a Stanley Cup Playoff contender in the Western Conference, and perhaps the biggest reason why is the NHL's First Star for this past week.

Mike Smith's recent heroics in goal earned him the honor, announced Monday by the League. Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins once again finds himself in the mix as the Second Star, while a big scoring week for St. Louis Blues forward David Perron led to him being named Third Star.

Mike Smith
Goalie - PHX
RECORD: 23-14-7
GAA: 2.33 | SVP: 0.925
The Coyotes surged past a pack of fellow contenders and into the West's No. 8 seed by winning all four of their games last week, extending their overall streak to five in a row. Smith has been in net for all of those victories. In defeating Detroit on Monday, Dallas on Tuesday and Calgary on Thursday, Smith allowed just a single goal in each game, stopping 81 of 84 shots. He punctuated his spectacular week with a 38-save shutout performance against Chicago on Saturday. Smith posted a .975 save percentage during the four games.

Malkin's third five-point outing in less than two months highlighted his most recent high-scoring week. In this case it was the weekend that earned Malkin his nod, as he scored a goal and assisted on four others as the Penguins outscored the Jets 8-5 on Saturday afternoon. The next day, Malkin both started and capped their four-goal rally to beat the Lightning. For the week, Malkin had three goals, five assists and a plus-6 rating. Malkin extended his NHL-leading point total to 69, and his 32 goals are second only to the 37 scored by Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos.

Perron's honor is a feel-good story, as he was coming off a 20-goal season and had five goals in the Blues' first 10 games last season before a concussion sidelined him for more than a calendar year. When he finally got back in the lineup, he had been limited to four goals in 26 games before this past week. Perron had his first multi-goal game of the season against Ottawa, including the game-winner, and had the tying score in a shootout win against New Jersey. Another multi-goal effort plus an assist followed against Colorado, and Perron capped his six-goal, seven-point week by lighting the lamp against San Jose.

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres