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Backstrom, Miller, Langkow up for this week's award

by Staff
Every Saturday night throughout the regular season — coinciding with the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast on CBC and RDS — NHL representatives will evaluate NHL player performances from the week prior to select the top three NHL player performances for that week.

Fans then will have the opportunity each week to go online at and vote for their favorite player from amongst the three nominees.  At season's end, each winning player will be placed in a pool with the other weekly winners, from which a panel of independent NHL judges will narrow down the list to 10 finalists based on their season-long performances.  Fans will then have the opportunity to vote for their favorite NHL player from these top 10 finalists.  Exciting NHL prizes will be available to both U.S. and Canadian participants.

Our Scotiabank Fan Fav nominees reflect the fact that several goaltenders around the NHL had a good week.

Minnesota netminder Niklas Backstrom got only four goals of support in three games, but led the Wild to a pair of wins by putting up back-to-back shutouts, both on the road. Backstrom stopped 33 shots to lead Minnesota to a 2-0 victory at Colorado and 28 more to shut down the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins 1-0 in Boston.

"It was a really big challenge for us. It's probably one of the best teams out there, especially playing in their rink," Backstrom said after the win in Boston. "I think our whole team rose to the challenge."

Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller also rose to the challenge. With his team struggling, Miller allowed just five goals on 108 shots while going 4-0-0. His best performance came Friday night, when he made 43 saves through 65 minutes and stopped three more shots in the shootout to as the Sabres beat the New York Rangers 2-1.

"Ryan's one of the best in the League," former teammate Chris Drury said after Miller stopped him
on the final shootout try to give Buffalo the win over the Rangers. "You could tell right from the start he was locked in pretty good. It was a heck of a game by him."

Calgary center Daymond Langkow sometimes gets lost in the shadows of All-Stars like Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf. But Langkow stepped into the limelight last week with 5 goals and 7 points in the Flames' four games. He was also plus-4 and had the game-winner in Calgary's 5-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday.
"Langks has obviously been on a tear and it's not lucky, it's not fortunate, he's a good hockey player," teammate Mike Cammalleri said after Langkow scored and set up two other goals against the Islanders. "He's making a lot of very good plays right now and that's why the puck's going in for him."

Last week's winner, Columbus goaltender Steve Mason, won the award after a spectacular performance. The Blue Jackets' third-round pick in the 2006 Entry Draft had back-to-back-to-back shutouts, beating Philadelphia at home and Los Angeles and Anaheim on the road. In all, he allowed one goal while going 4-0-0 and stopping 93 of 94 shots.

"It's very comforting to have him back there," teammate Chris MacDonald said. "If he sees the puck, he's going to stop it. He's very much under control and he's pretty confident for a 20-year-old."

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