NEW YORK (October 19, 2009) -- Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Craig Anderson and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for the week ending Oct. 18.
FIRST STAR -- ILYA BRYZGALOV, G, PHOENIX COYOTES Bryzgalov stopped 70 of 73 shots in posting a 3-0-0 record with a 0.95 goals-against average, .959 save percentage and one shutout as the Coyotes improved to 5-2-0 and first place in the Pacific Division. Bryzgalov recorded 26 saves for his ninth career shutout in a 1-0 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks Oct. 12, stopped 22 shots in a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues Oct. 15 and finished the week with 22 saves in a 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins Oct. 17. Bryzgalov has won five of six starts this season, leading NHL goaltenders in goals-against average (1.14), save percentage (.953) and shutouts (two).
SECOND STAR -- CRAIG ANDERSON, G, COLORADO AVALANCHE Anderson recorded four consecutive road victories with a 2.20 goals-against average and .928 save percentage as the Avalanche improved to 6-1-1 and first place in the Northwest Division. Anderson began the week with a sweep of Northeast Division opponents, recording 29 saves in a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins Oct. 12, turning aside 30 of 31 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 13 and making 29 saves in a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens Oct. 15. He finished the week by stopping 28 shots and two of three shootout attempts in a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Oct. 17. Anderson has started all eight games for the Avalanche this season, posting a 6-1-1 record with a 2.09 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and one shutout.
“It’s just a credit to the guys in front of me and the team getting the wins," said Anderson. "With us winning and going 4-0 on the road, I guess I get the recognition but it’s a credit to the guys in front of me. They deserve the honors.”
THIRD STAR -- ALEX OVECHKIN, LW, WASHINGTON CAPITALS Ovechkin led all scorers for the week with six points (four goals, two assists) as the Capitals (4-2-2) gained five of six points and moved into first place in the Southeast Division. Ovechkin began the week by notching two assists in a 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 12. He recorded two goals in a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks Oct. 15 and tallied two more plus the shootout winner in a 3-2 win against the Nashville Predators Oct. 17. Ovechkin is the NHL leader in goals (nine), points (16) and shots (61) in eight games - all three on a pace significantly higher than his career average.