Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins has been named the National Hockey League's Second Star for the week ending January 19, the league and club announced today. Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Ovechkin was named the First Star, while Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews was selected Third Star.
Merzlikins, 25, went 3-0-0 with a 0.67 goals-against average, .982 save percentage and two shutouts in three games last week, stopping 107-of-109 shots faced. On January 14, he recorded his second-straight shutout with 34 saves in a 3-0 win over the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins. Two nights later, he turned aside 32-of-34 shots in a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. He concluded the week by making a career-high 41 saves in a 5-0 win over the New Jersey Devils on January 18, becoming just the seventh NHL rookie goaltender since 1943-44 to record three shutouts in the span of four games.
The Riga, Latvia native improved to 8-6-4 with a 2.36 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and three shutouts in 20 outings this season. He currently ranks second (tied) in the NHL in shutouts, third in save percentage and eighth in goals-against average. Merzlikins made 10 consecutive starts from December 31 to January 18, compiling an 8-2-0 record, 1.51 goals-against average, .955 save percentage and three shutouts during that span.
The Blue Jackets return to action on Wednesday when they host the Winnipeg Jets. Game time from Nationwide Arena is 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Ohio and the FOX Sports Go app. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with the "Blue Jackets Live" pre-game show. The game will also be broadcast on the Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs Blue Jackets Radio Network, including Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan.