NEW YORK – Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner, St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott and Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Jan. 5.
Skinner led all skaters with six goals and nine points to help the Hurricanes (18-16-9, 45 points) record a season-high four consecutive victories and move into fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. He opened the week with 2-1—3 in a 5-4 overtime victory against the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 31. Skinner followed that up with his second career hat trick (and second of the season), including the overtime winner, in a 4-3 triumph over the Washington Capitals Jan. 2. He added an assist in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders Jan. 4 before capping the week with 1-1—2, including the game-winning goal, in a 2-1 victory against the Nashville Predators Jan. 5. The 21-year-old Toronto native has 20-13—33 in 32 games this season, including a League-high 16 goals since Dec. 3 and 6-4—10 during a five-game point streak, matching a career long set during his rookie season (Jan. 7-15, 2011: 5-3—8).
Elliott posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.00 goals-against average, .962 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Blues to a trio of victories, establishing a franchise record for the best 41-game start in team history (29-7-5, 63 points). He made 24 saves in a 2-1 triumph over the Minnesota Wild Dec. 31. Elliott then recorded 30 saves for his 24th career shutout – and 15th with the Blues, one shy of tying Glenn Hall for the second-most in club history – in a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings Jan. 2. He closed the week by making 22 saves in 6-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Jan. 4, extending his franchise-record home winning streak to 13 games (dating to April 16, 2013). The 28-year-old Newmarket, Ont., native has appeared in 18 games this season, compiling a 12-1-2 record with a 1.85 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and three shutouts.
Suter led all defensemen with four goals and tied for first among blueliners with six points as the Wild (22 17-5, 49 points) won two of three games to move into fourth place in the Central Division. He scored his second goal of the season in a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues Dec. 31. Suter followed that up with two assists, his third multi-assist/point game of the season, in a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Jan. 2. He capped the week by recording his first career hat trick (on three shots on goal) in a 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals Jan. 4, becoming the first defenseman in Wild history to tally three goals in a game and first blueliner on any team to do so since March 20, 2011 (P.K. Subban). The 28-year-old Madison, Wis., native has 5 24—29 in 44 games this season and leads all skaters in time on ice (1,305:45) and time on ice per game (29:40).