NEW YORK – Detroit Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader, New York Rangers center Oscar Lindberg and Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Oct. 11.
FIRST STAR – JUSTIN ABDELKADER, LW, DETROIT RED WINGS
Abdelkader shared the League lead with four goals and tied for second in the NHL with five points as the Red Wings (2-0-0, 4 points) opened the season with a pair of victories. He recorded his second career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in a 4-0 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 9, becoming the third player in franchise history to notch three goals in Detroit's opening game of the season (also Adam Brown in 1945-46 and Brendan Shanahan in 2001-02). Abdelkader then posted 1-1-2, as well as the decisive goal, in a 4-3 comeback win over the Carolina Hurricanes Oct. 10. The 28-year-old Muskegon, Mich., native has 65-72-137 in 400 career NHL games, all with the Red Wings. He set career highs in goals (23), assists (21) and points (44) last season (71 GP).
SECOND STAR – OSCAR LINDBERG, C, NEW YORK RANGERS
Lindberg also tied for first in the NHL with four goals to lift the Rangers (3-0-0, 6 points) to a trio of wins. Playing in his second career game, Lindberg scored 1:43 after the opening face-off en route to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Oct. 7. He then scored in a 4-2 triumph over the Columbus Blue Jackets Oct. 9 before adding a pair of goals – both in the first 5:12 of regulation – in a 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets Oct. 10. With his performance, Lindberg became the sixth rookie in NHL history to register a goal in each of his team's first three games of the season. The 23-year-old Skellefteå, Sweden, native spent the majority of last season with the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL), where he ranked second on the club in goals (28), assists (28) and points (56) in 75 games.
THIRD STAR – MIKE SMITH, G, ARIZONA COYOTES
Smith went 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .971 save percentage to backstop the Coyotes (2-0-0, 4 points) to their first 2-0-0 start since 2009-10. He denied 40 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Oct. 9. Smith then followed that performance with 27 saves in a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Oct. 10. The 33 year-old Kingston, Ont., native owns a 163-159-49 record with a 2.66 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and 27 shutouts in 389 career NHL appearances. That includes a 96-93-30 clip with a 2.63 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and 16 shutouts since joining the Coyotes in 2011-12 (227 GP).