Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews
and Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Sunday, Dec 7.
FIRST STAR -- PEKKA RINNE, G, NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Rinne posted three victories in as many starts last week, earning a pair of shutouts and allowing just two goals -- neither of which were at even strength -- on 83 shots for a .976 save percentage. He stopped all 30 shots for his first career NHL shutout in a 2-0 victory at Buffalo Dec. 1, made 19 saves in a 3-2 victory over Colorado Dec. 4 and stopped 32 shots in a 1-0 victory over Minnesota Dec. 6. Rinne is a perfect 6-0-0 in eight games this season and has posted a 1.24 goals-against average and .954 save percentage in his past four appearances. Selected 258th overall in the 2004 Entry Draft, the 26-year-old Oulu, Finland native is one of three rookie goaltenders to have won each of his first three decisions in 2008-09, joining Columbus' Steve Mason and Edmonton's Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers.
SECOND STAR -- JONATHAN TOEWS, C, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Toews recorded six points (four goals, two assists) in three games, including a pair of game-winning goals, as the Blackhawks earned five of six available points. He tallied multiple points in each game, beginning with the game-winning goal and one assist in a 4-2 victory over Anaheim Dec. 3. He notched a pair of goals in a 5-4 shootout loss at Detroit Dec. 6 and finished the week by scoring the game-winner and adding one assist in a 7-1 victory over Phoenix Dec. 7. The 20-year-old Blackhawks captain increased his season scoring total to 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 25 games.
THIRD STAR -- JASON SPEZZA, C, OTTAWA SENATORS
Spezza recorded four points, all goals, as the Senators won both starts last week. He notched the game-winning goal in a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers Dec. 3 and tallied his second career hat trick in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh Dec. 6. It marked the second time a Senators player has scored all three goals in a 3-2 win; the other came on the first hat trick in franchise history, tallied by Bob Kudelski in a 3-2 win over San Jose on Jan. 10, 1993. Spezza ranks third in scoring on the Senators with 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 24 games.