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Koivu Named Second Star of the Week

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

Ducks center Saku Koivu has been chosen by the NHL as the Second Star for the week ending April 4. Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak earned the First Star and Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask was named the Third Star.


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 plus-five rating in a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on March. 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 on April 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 on April 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 (plus-13).


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.


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).

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