Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford and Nashville Predators right wing Martin Erat have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending March 18.
FIRST STAR – ILYA BRYZGALOV, G, PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Bryzgalov posted a 3-0-1 record, 1.44 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and one shutout as the Flyers (42-22-8, 92 points) earned seven out of a possible eight points. He began the week by making 17 saves for his third consecutive shutout in a 3-0 win against the New Jersey Devils March 13. Bryzgalov extended his career-best shutout streak to 249:43, a Flyers franchise record, before allowing a goal with 6:30 remaining in a 3-2 victory at the New York Islanders March 15. He then made 31 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss at the Boston Bruins March 17 and 38 stops in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins March 18.The 31-year-old netminder has reached 30 wins for the third straight season and has a 2.49 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and six shutouts in 53 appearances.
SECOND STAR – COREY CRAWFORD, G, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Crawford had a 3-0-0 record, 1.09 goals-against average and .948 save percentage as the Blackhawks (40-25-8, 88 points) improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine games. He stopped all 18 shots he faced in 45 minutes of relief and denied all three challengers in the shootout as Chicago earned a 4-3 come-from-behind victory against the St. Louis Blues March 13. Crawford then closed the week by making 21 saves in a 4-1 win at the Dallas Stars March 16 and 16 stops in a 5-2 victory against the Washington Capitals March 18. He improved to 25-16-5 with a 2.83 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 49 appearances.
THIRD STAR – MARTIN ERAT, RW, NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Erat led the League with seven points (two goals, five assists) in four games as the Predators (42-22-8, 92 points) leapfrogged the Detroit Red Wings for fourth place in the Western Conference. He recorded one goal and two assists in a 5-4 shootout win at the Phoenix Coyotes March 12 and collected one helper in a 2-1 shootout loss at the San Jose Sharks March 15. Erat then tallied a goal and an assist in a 4-2 defeat at the Los Angeles Kings March 17 before closing the week with an assist in a 3-1 victory at the Anaheim Ducks March 18. The Trebic, Czech Republic native leads Nashville with 38 assists and 56 points in 64 games, and is on pace to establish career highs in both categories.