BOSTON, MA –
The NHL announced today that Tuukka Rask
has been named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the week ending April 4. The Boston Bruins Foundation will donate $1,000 to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Rask’s name.
Rask posted a 2-1-0 record with a 0.55 goals-against average, .977 save percentage and one shutout in four appearances as the Bruins (36-30-12) edged closer to a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Rask blanked the Buffalo Sabres for 33 minutes in relief of starter Tim Thomas
in a 3-2 loss Mar. 29, making 19 saves, and recorded his fifth shutout of the season the following night with a 21-save performance in a 1-0 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils. He turned aside 19 shots in a 1-0 loss to the Florida Panthers Apr. 1 and finished the week by stopping 27 shots in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Apr. 3. Rask improved to 20-12-4 in 42 appearances, joining Detroit's Jimmy Howard as the only rookie goaltenders to reach the 20-win mark this season. In addition, Rask leads all NHL goaltenders in goals-against average (1.96) and save percentage (.931).
Montreal’s Jaroslav Halak and Anaheim’s Saku Koivu captured the First and Second Stars, respectively. FIRST STAR -- JAROSLAV HALAK, G, MONTREAL CANADIENS
Halak backstopped the Canadiens' march toward an Eastern Conference playoff berth by stopping all 64 shots he faced in recording back-to-back shutouts last week. He recorded 35 saves in a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Apr. 2 and turned aside 29 shots to post his fifth shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres Apr. 3. The 24-year-old Bratislava, Slovakia native improved his season record to 26-12-3 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 42 appearances. He has been at his best since returning from a starring role with Slovakia at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, posting a 9-2-1 mark in 12 decisions since Mar. 6. Earning three points over their final three games of the regular season would guarantee the Canadiens (39-32-8) their third consecutive trip to the NHL postseason and the 78th in franchise history.SECOND STAR -- SAKU KOIVU, C, ANAHEIM DUCKS
Koivu led the NHL in scoring with eight points (four goals, four assists) in four games last week, helping the Ducks (38-31-9) collect seven of eight available points and remain in the race to grab the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference. Koivu posted his first four-point game (one goal, three assists) since March 2007 and tied a franchise record with a career-best +5 rating in a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Mar. 31. He recorded two goals, including the game-tying strike with 1:24 left in regulation, and one assist in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks Apr. 2 and tallied the game-tying goal with 1:32 remaining in regulation plus the shootout winner in a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Apr. 3. Koivu ranks fourth on the Ducks in scoring with 49 points (19 goals, 30 assists) and leads the club in game-winning goals (six) and plus-minus (+13).