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Bryzgalov repeats as First Star of the Week

by Adam Kimelman

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was the hottest player in the League last week, earning First Star of the Week honors. That hot play continued last week, and he again has earned the NHL First Star of the Week.

Bryzgalov is the first player this season to be named First Star in back-to-back weeks.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was named Second Star, and Nashville Predators forward Martin Erat was named Third Star.

In four starts last week, Bryzgalov allowed just six goals while going 3-0-1. He started his week with a 17-save shutout, his third straight, and he shut out the Islanders for the first 2.5 periods to run his scoreless streak to a Flyers-record 249:43, a mark which also stands as the second-longest in the expansion era. He let in two late goals but made enough saves for the Flyers to escape with a 3-2 win.

He made 31 saves Saturday against Boston, allowing the Flyers to rally from a 2-0 third-period deficit to earn a point in a 3-2 shootout loss, and then was at it again Sunday as the Flyers were badly outplayed in the second period against the Penguins, but only trailed 2-0. Bryzgalov made 38 saves against the Penguins as the Flyers won 3-2 in overtime.

Ilya Bryzgalov
Goalie - PHI
RECORD: 30-13-7
GAA: 2.49 | SVP: 0.911
Since March 1, Bryzgalov is 8-0-1 with a 1.20 goals-against average, .960 save percentage and four shutouts.

"He's got his swagger back," Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann told "He's been real good. This is the way we need him to play."

Crawford had an equally outstanding week for the Blackhawks, earning three wins and allowing just three goals in the process.

Crawford started his week on the bench, but when Ray Emery allowed three goals in the first period of Tuesday's game against the St. Louis Blues, Crawford was summoned to start the second. He slammed the door, stopping all 18 shots, allowing the Blackhawks to rally for a 4-3 overtime win.

Three days later in Dallas, he stopped 21 of 22 shots in a 4-1 Blackhawks win, and then made 16 saves Sunday in a 5-2 victory against a visiting Washington Capitals team desperate for points.

The victories allowed the Hawks to strengthen their hold on a Western Conference playoff spot. They enter the week sixth in the conference, just four points behind fourth-place Nashville and six points ahead of ninth-place San Jose.

Erat had 2 goals and 5 assists as the Predators went 2-1-1 in the week to pass the Red Wings for fourth place in the West.

He was responsible for the Predators' first three goals with a goal and 2 assists in a shootout win against the Coyotes on Sunday and he assisted on the Preds' lone goal in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Sharks on Thursday. He scored the Predators' first goal and set up their second in a 5-2 loss to the Kings on Saturday and on Sunday he helped set up Mike Fisher's game-winning goal in a 3-1 win against the Ducks.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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