NEW YORK – Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin, St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott and New York Rangers center Derek Stepan have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of April.
FIRST STAR – ALEX OVECHKIN, RW, WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Ovechkin led the League with 14 goals and 22 points in 13 games as the Capitals posted an 11-1-1 record en route to their fifth Southeast Division title in the last six years. He scored in nine of his 13 games, including four multi-goal efforts and his 12th career hat trick April 6 at Florida, and totaled eight multi-point performances. Ovechkin recorded his 30th goal of the season April 20 at Montreal, becoming the ninth player in League history to score 30 or more goals in each of his first eight seasons. His 32nd and final goal of the season came in his 600th NHL game April 25 vs. Winnipeg, giving him 371 for his career – the eighth-most by any player in League history through their first 600 games. Ovechkin’s 14 goals set an April record and spurred the 27-year-old Moscow native to his third Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, awarded to the League’s top goal-scorer. He played in all 48 games for the Capitals this season, finishing third in the NHL with 56 points and first with 16 power-play goals and 27 power-play points.
SECOND STAR – BRIAN ELLIOTT, G, ST. LOUIS BLUES
Elliott posted an 11-2-0 record, 1.28 goals-against average, .948 save percentage and three shutouts in 13 games to help the Blues secure the fourth seed in the Western Conference. He allowed one goal or fewer in 10 of his 13 appearances, including the final three games of the season, and posted three consecutive shutouts – all on the road – April 7 at Detroit, April 9 at Nashville and April 11 at Minnesota. Elliott’s 11 April wins established a Blues record (including the postseason) and his three straight shutouts equaled a franchise mark he tied last year (March 22-27). The 28-year-old Newmarket, Ont., native played in 24 games this season, compiling a 14-8-1 record with a 2.28 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.
THIRD STAR – DEREK STEPAN, C, NEW YORK RANGERS
Stepan finished second among skaters with 19 points (8-11—19) and recorded a +14 rating in 14 games as the Rangers clinched their third consecutive playoff berth and the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. He registered points in 12 of 14 his games, including seven multi-point efforts, and tallied three game-winning goals – April 1 vs. Winnipeg, April 21 vs. New Jersey and April 27 vs. New Jersey. The 22-year-old Hastings, Minn., native played in all 48 games for the Rangers this season and led the team in assists (26), points (44), plus/minus (+25) and game-winning goals (6).