APRIL 9, 2012NEW YORK
– Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith
, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending April 8. FIRST STAR – MIKE SMITH, G, PHOENIX COYOTES
Smith posted a 3-0-0 record, 0.67 goals-against average, .982 save percentage and one shutout as the Coyotes (42-27-13, 97 points) won three straight games to capture the Pacific Division, their first division title in franchise history. He began the week by making 54 saves, an NHL record for saves in a regular-season shutout, in a 2-0 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets April 3. The win also extended Smith’s shutout streak to three consecutive games, a career high. He extended his overall shutout streak to 234:25, the third-longest stretch in the League this season, before allowing a goal at 14:26 of the first period in a 4-1 win at the St. Louis Blues April 6. Smith made 161 consecutive saves during that run, the most since saves were introduced as an official statistic in 1976-77. He closed the week by making 23 saves in a 4-1 victory at the Minnesota Wild April 7 as the Coyotes claimed the third seed in the Western Conference. The 30-year-old Kingston, Ontario native played in 67 games this season, establishing career bests with 38 wins, a 2.21 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage and eight shutouts. SECOND STAR – STEVEN STAMKOS, C, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Stamkos recorded 4-1—5 in four games to become the second player since 1995-96 to reach the 60-goal mark (Alex Ovechkin: 65, 2007-08). He scored twice, including his League-leading 12th winner, and added an assist in a 4-2 victory against the Washington Capitals April 2, potted his 59th goal in a 3-2 overtime loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs April 5 and netted No. 60 on the final day of the season, a 4-3 overtime win at the Winnipeg Jets April 7. Stamkos captured his second Maurice Richard Trophy as the NHL’s goal-scoring leader (2009-10) and finished second in the League’s points race with 60-37—97, a career high. The Markham, Ontario native leads the NHL with 156 goals since the start of the 2009-10 season, 36 more than the next-closest player (Ovechkin, 120). THIRD STAR – SIDNEY CROSBY, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Crosby tied for first in the League with 3-3—6, including two game-winning goals, as the Penguins (51-25-6, 108 points) won their final three games to finish fourth in the Eastern Conference. He scored twice and added an assist in a 5-3 victory at the Boston Bruins April 3, collected an assist in a 5-2 win against the New York Rangers April 5 and closed the season with a goal and an assist in a 4-2 triumph against the Philadelphia Flyers April 7. Since returning from injury March 15, Crosby recorded at least one point in 10 of his 14 games, totaling 6-19—25. The 24-year-old appeared in 22 total games, recording 8-29—37 for a career-best 1.68 points per game.