NEW YORK/TORONTO (Jan. 2, 2006) – Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin, who tallied seven points (four goals, three assists) in four games, has been named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday, January 1. Minnesota goaltender Manny Fernandez, who backstopped the Wild to three wins with a 2.00 goals-against average and .931 save percentage, is the League's Defensive Player of the Week.
New Jersey center Scott Gomez, who posted eight points (5-3--8 in four games), Phoenix left wing Ladislav Nagy (1-7--8 in four games) and Colorado right wing Milan Hejduk (4-3--7 in four games) were runners-up for offensive honors, while goaltenders Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers (3-0-0, 1.96 GAA) and Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings (2-0-0, 1.50 GAA) were runners-up for the defensive award.
Ovechkin recorded points in all four Capitals games as Washington went 1-2-1 for the week. He opened the week with one goal and one assist in a 4-3 overtime loss to Boston on Dec. 27. On Dec. 28 he tallied one goal in a 7-2 loss to New Jersey and added one goal and one assist in a 4-3 overtime win against Philadelphia on Dec. 31. He closed the week with one goal and one assist in a 5-2 loss to Atlanta
Ovechkin leads all rookie scorers and is tied for 11th in NHL scoring with 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists). Atlanta (13-21-3, 29 points) are fifth in the Southeast Division and host the Ottawa Senators Wednesday at the MCI Center.
Fernandez began the week by making 27 saves as the Wild defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Dec 26. On Dec. 28, he made 28 saves as Minnesota defeated Edmonton again 4-2. On Dec. 31 he made 26 saves as the Wild defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-3.
Appearing in 23 of Minnesota's 39 games this season Fernandez has posted a record of 14-5-3, a 2.05 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. The Wild are 11th in the Western Conference with 40 points (18-17-4) and travel to Detroit where they meet the Red Wings tomorrow at the Joe Louis Arena.
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