NHL'S THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
NEW YORK (Oct. 30, 2006) -- New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, Atlanta Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Oct. 29.
Each Monday, the NHL recognizes three players who delivered the League's top performances over the preceding week.
FIRST STAR -- ILYA KOVALCHUK, LW
Kovalchuk led all NHL scorers with eight points (six goals, two assists) in four games, all on the road, as the Thrashers went 2-0-2. Kovalchuk tallied three goals and an assist in a 6-3 victory at Florida Oct. 23, notched one goal and one assist in a 5-4 overtime loss at Carolina Oct. 25, recorded one goal in a 3-2 shootout loss at Philadelphia Oct. 26 and tallied one goal in a 5-4 shootout victory at Buffalo Oct. 28, ending the Sabres' 10-game winning streak to start the season. Kovalchuk has scored in five consecutive games and has points in his past seven contests. He ranks fourth in NHL scoring with 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 12 games. The Thrashers (8-1-3), off to the best start in franchise history, hold a seven-point lead over Carolina atop the Southeast Division.
SECOND STAR -- MARTIN BRODEUR, G
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Brodeur posted a 2-1-0 record, 1.34 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in three games, including consecutive milestone shutouts. He recorded his 82nd career shutout in a 2-0 victory over the Florida Panthers Oct. 26, tying Jacques Plante for fourth place on the all-time list, and passed Plante the following night with his 83rd career shutout as the Devils blanked Columbus 1-0. With his next shutout Brodeur will tie Glenn Hall (84) for third place all-time.
THIRD STAR -- EVGENI MALKIN, C
Malkin, 20, continued the torrid start to his NHL career, notching five points (two goals, three assists) in two games. He scored a highlight-reel goal and added an assist in a 4-2 victory over New Jersey in his national television debut Oct. 24 and notched a goal and two assists in an 8-2 victory at Philadelphia Oct. 28. Malkin has scored in each of his first five NHL games -- the first player to do so since Boston's Dmitri Kvartalnov in 1992-93 -- and has added four assists for nine points overall. The Penguins (6-3-0) already are seven points ahead of their 2005-06 record (0-4-5) through the first nine games.