NEW YORK – St. Louis Blues right wing Chris Stewart, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec. 22.
FIRST STAR – CHRIS STEWART, RW, ST. LOUIS BLUES
Goals: 6 | Assists: 1 | Pts: 7
Shots: 8 | +/-: 5
Stewart led the NHL with six goals and added an assist as the Blues (24-7-4, 52 points) earned five out of a possible eight points to maintain second place in the Central Division. He opened the week by scoring twice, his first multi-goal game of the season, in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 16. Stewart then was held off the scoresheet in a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 17, but responded with his 10th goal of the season in a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 19. He capped the week by recording three goals and one assist, including the game-winning goal, for his third career hat trick in a 6-0 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 21. The 26-year-old Toronto native has 13 goals and eight assists in 35 games this season, including eight goals, 10 points and two game-winning scores over his past six outings.
SECOND STAR – SIDNEY CROSBY, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Crosby finished second among skaters with 2-6—8 in four outings, helping the shorthanded Penguins (27-10-1, 55 points) stretch their winning streak to seven consecutive games. He recorded the game-winning goal, the 33rd of his career, in a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Dec. 16. Crosby followed that up with two assists in each of the next two games: a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers Dec. 18 and a 5-2 triumph over the Minnesota Wild Dec. 19. He closed the week with 1-2—3, his 16th multi-point performance of the season, in a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames Dec. 21. The 26-year-old Cole Harbour, N.S., native leads the NHL with 20-34—54 in 38 games this season, including 7-11—18 during a 10-game point streak.
THIRD STAR – MATT DUCHENE, C, COLORADO AVALANCHE
Duchene led all players with seven assists and nine points, recording four multi-point performances to help the Avalanche (23-10-2, 48 points) remain in third place in the Central Division. He compiled 1-3—4 in a back-to-back, home-and-home series with the Dallas Stars: a 6-2 victory Dec. 16 (0-2—2) and a 3-2 loss Dec. 17 (1-1—2). Duchene then posted 1-2—3, his fourth three-point game of the season, in a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers Dec. 19. He capped the week by assisting on both Colorado goals in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 21. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Duchene is the first Avalanche player to record two or more points in four consecutive team games since October 2008 (Paul Stastny). The 22-year-old Haliburton, Ont., native leads Colorado with 16 goals, 17 assists and 33 points in 32 games this season.