COLUMBUS, Ohio – Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Fredrik Norrena has been named the NHL's 'Second Star' for the week ending Jan. 28, the National Hockey League and the Blue Jackets announced today. Each Monday, the NHL will recognize three players who delivered the League's top performances over the past week. Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Mark Recchi earned first star honors, while Edmonton Oilers left wing Ryan Smyth was named the third star.
Norrena posted consecutive victories with a 1.88 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in two weekend appearances following the All-Star break, helping the Blue Jackets (20-25-5, 45 points) move within 11 points of the eighth playoff berth in the Western Conference. Playing in his first NHL season, the 33-year-old Pietarsaari, Finland native stopped 36 of 38 shots in a 3-2 comeback victory over the Buffalo Sabres Friday and stopped 20 of 21 shots in 36 minutes of action before leaving the game due to injury in a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild Saturday. Norrena improved to 13-12-2 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .898 save percentage.
Recchi tied for the League lead in scoring with six points (three goals, three assists), highlighted by 500th career NHL goal, as the Penguins won a pair of road games following the All-Star break. He notched his milestone 500th goal with the second of two tallies in a 4-3 shootout victory at Dallas Friday, becoming the 38th player in League history to reach the mark. Recchi concluded the week with four points (one goal, three assists) in a 7-2 victory at Phoenix Saturday, raising his season points total 48 (17 goals, 31 assists) in 48 games. The Penguins (23-17-8, 54 points) are 23 points ahead of their 2005-06 total through the corresponding number of games, the NHL's biggest increase.
Smyth tallied five points (two goals, three assists) in two games as the Oilers (24-22-4, 52 points) split a pair of games following the All-Star break. He recorded an assist on the Oilers' lone goal in a 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks Friday and figured in each Edmonton goal with four points (two goals, two assists) in a 4-3 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Kings Saturday. The performance matched his career single-game scoring high. Smyth earned an assist on Shawn Horcoff's game-tying goal at 1:07 of the third period and tallied the game-winner, his fifth of the season, at 7:58. Smyth, who also posted one assist in the Western Conference's 12-9 victory over the Eastern Conference in the NHL All-Star Game Wednesday, leads the Oilers in goals (25) and points (41).
The Blue Jackets return to action on Tuesday when they visit the Vancouver Canucks. Game time is 10 p.m. ET with live coverage on FSN Ohio beginning with the Ice Breaker pre-game show at 9:30 p.m. Coverage also includes the Blue Jackets Ice Cap post-game show immediately following the game. The game will also be broadcast live on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM Sports Radio 1460 The Fan and WWCD-FM, CD101.
Individual game tickets for 2006-07 regular season home games are on sale now at Nationwide Arena, The Blueline at The Chiller Ice Rinks, ticketmaster Ticket Centers and on-line at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com. For information on season tickets, mini-plans and group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS.