NEW YORK (December 7, 2009) -- Centers Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals, Stephen Weiss of the Florida Panthers and Matt Duchene
of the Colorado Avalanche have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for the week ending Dec. 6.
FIRST STAR -- NICKLAS BACKSTROM, C, WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Backstrom led all scorers with nine points (four goals, five assists), helping the Capitals (18-5-6) rise to first place in the Eastern Conference standings with three consecutive victories. Backstrom posted his second two-goal game of the season and added an assist in a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Nov. 30, notched one goal in a 6-2 victory over the Florida Panthers Dec. 3 and closed the week with five points (one goal, four assists), the most by a Capitals player this season, in an 8-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Dec. 5. Backstrom leads the Capitals in scoring and ranks 10th in the NHL overall with 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists). The 22-year-old Gavle, Sweden native has averaged nearly a point per game in his NHL career, recording 44-146--190 in 193 games.SECOND STAR -- STEPHEN WEISS, C, FLORIDA PANTHERS
Weiss led all goal scorers last week by tallying six times, highlighted by his second career NHL hat trick. Weiss notched a goal and an assist in a 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers Nov. 30 and scored three goals plus the shootout winner in a 6-5 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Dec. 2. He tallied one goal in a 6-2 loss to the Washington Capitals Dec. 3 and finished the week by scoring his club's lone goal in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Atlanta Thrashers Dec. 5. Weiss, who has recorded points in 10 of his past 11 games, leads the Panthers in goals (13) and ranks second in points (24).THIRD STAR -- MATT DUCHENE, C, COLORADO AVALANCHE
Duchene tallied six points (4-2--6), including multiple goals in consecutive games, as the Avalanche (16-9-6) earned five points in four road games. The 18-year-old Haliburton, Ontario native began the week by recording his first multiple-goal game and first game-winning goal in the NHL as the Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 on Nov. 30. He scored twice more and added an assist in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers Dec. 2 and closed the week with one assist in a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Dec. 5. Colorado’s first choice, third overall, in the 2009 Entry Draft, Duchene ranks fourth on the Avalanche and among NHL rookies in scoring with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 31 games.