NEW YORK (March 8, 2010) -- Colorado Avalanche right wing Chris Stewart, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos and Florida Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for the week ending March 7.
FIRST STAR -- CHRIS STEWART, RW, COLORADO AVALANCHE Stewart led all NHL scorers last week with nine points (five goals, four assists) in four games as the Avalanche (37-22-6) closed the week two points behind the first-place Vancouver Canucks in the Northwest Division title race. Stewart tallied one goal and one assist in a 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings Mar. 1, recorded one goal and two assists in a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks Mar. 3 and notched his first career NHL hat trick and added an assist in a 7-3 win over the St. Louis Blues Mar. 6. While the Avalanche rookie corps has earned well-deserved praise, the 22-year-old Stewart is enjoying one of the top seasons by a sophomore in the NHL. Colorado’s first-round choice, 18th overall, in the 2006 Entry Draft, Stewart leads the team in goals (24), plus-minus (+13) and shots (172) and ranks second in points (24-27--51).
SECOND STAR -- STEVEN STAMKOS, C, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING Stamkos continued his recent goal binge by tallying five times in three games last week, extending the NHL's longest active point streak to 16 games. He scored twice in a 7-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Mar. 2, recorded one goal in a 5-4 loss to the Washington Capitals Mar. 4 and reached the 40-goal mark with a two-goal, one-assist effort in a 6-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers Mar. 6. With 15 goals in his past 15 games, Stamkos has climbed to third in the NHL goal-scoring race behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (44) and Washington's Alex Ovechkin (42). He also is tied for the League lead in power-play goals (16). The 20-year-old Markham, Ontario native is bidding to become the youngest player to score 50 goals in a season since Los Angeles' Jimmy Carson in 1987-88 (19 years, eight months) and the third-youngest 50-goal man in League history behind Carson and Wayne Gretzky (19 years, two months with Edmonton in 1979-80).
THIRD STAR -- BRYAN McCABE, D, FLORIDA PANTHERS McCabe helped the Panthers break out of a recent scoring drought by leading NHL defensemen in points last week with eight (one goal, seven assists) in three games. He tallied one assist in a 4-2 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers Mar. 2, posted a season-high four points (one goal, three assists) in a 7-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Mar. 3 and finished the week with three assists in a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Mar. 6. McCabe ranks fifth on the Panthers in scoring with 34 points (eight goals, 26 assists) and leads the club in average ice time per game (22:23).