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Burrows, Hiller, Garon named week's '3 Stars'

by John Kreiser
Alexandre Burrows gave hat sales in Vancouver a boost last week.

With more than a little help from linemates Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Burrows had the week of a lifetime, scoring 3 goals in back-to-back games to become the first Canuck since Petri Skriko in 1987 to get hat tricks in consecutive games -- and triggering a lot of hat-throwing at GM Place. His first hat trick helped the Canucks rally from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, 7-3, on Tuesday, and he scored three of Vancouver's four goals in a 4-0 win against Phoenix two nights later.

Burrows didn't need a lot of time or shots to record his big week. He scored his 6 goals on nine shots and played only 34:30 combined in the two games. Ironically, he saw more ice time in the Canucks' other game last week -- getting an assist in 21:11 Saturday in the Canucks' 3-2 shootout loss to Calgary.

Second star, Jonas Hiller -- Hiller was the main reason the Anaheim Ducks swept all four of their games last week. He capped a 4-0-0 week with a 42-save performance in Chicago on Sunday, leading the Ducks to a 3-1 win on a night they managed only 12 shots. For the week, he allowed just six goals on 131 shots.

Third star, Mathieu Garon -- For the moment, Garon has grabbed the No. 1 goaltending job in Columbus. He won all three of his starts, allowing four goals on 74 shots and capping his week with a 26-save 2-0 shutout of Dallas on Sunday night.

Five up -- Five more players who have been hot:

Henrik Lundqvist -- Lundqvist has been at the top of his game during the New York Rangers' recent hot streak. He was 3-0-0 last week and allowed just five goals on 85 shots -- including a save on a penalty shot that turned around Saturday's game in Boston.

Henrik and Daniel Sedin -- Burrows had plenty of help in his big week. Henrik Sedin had a goal and 6 assists to match Burrows' 7 points, and he grabbed the NHL scoring lead while extending his points streak to nine games. Twin brother Daniel scored once and had 5 assists.

Chris Pronger -- The All-Star defenseman had his best week as a Philadelphia Flyer, scoring a goal and adding 5 assists for 6 points while going plus-7 in three games -- all victories for one of the NHL's hottest teams.

Josh Bailey -- While 2009 No. 1 pick John Tavares continues to struggle, the New York Islanders' top pick in the 2008 Entry Draft is playing the best hockey of his career. Bailey has a six-game points streak and was 2-4-6 in three games on the road last week, including a 3-point game in the Isles' 5-4 win at Phoenix on Saturday.

Five down -- Five players who are struggling:

Vyacheslav Kozlov --
A big chunk of Atlanta's problems can be traced to Kozlov's offensive struggles. He's gone nine games without a point and is minus-6 in that span, giving him just 8 goals and 19 points in 44 games this season.

Daniel Paille -- With their front line decimated by injuries, the Boston Bruins need offense from Paille, and they're not getting it. Paille has gone eight games without a point despite averaging about 15 minutes of ice time in that span.

Wojtek Wolski -- After a hot start that helped the Colorado Avalanche take the Northwest Division lead, Wolski has gone cold. He hasn't put up a point in his last six games and has been stuck on 15 goals for his last nine.

Andrew Cogliano -- The Edmonton Oilers have been in a funk, and no Oiler has been struggling more in the last couple of weeks than Cogliano. He's gone eight games without a point, has seen his ice time reduced in the last week and has just 4 goals and 10 points in 44 games this season.

Ilya Bryzgalov -- Bryzgalov's goaltending was the major reason the Phoenix Coyotes reached the season's halfway mark among the best in the West. But he's hit the skids over the last 10 days, allowing 15 goals in his last four starts while going 1-2-0 and avoiding another loss thanks to his team's third-period rally Saturday.

Injuries, news and notes -- The Boston Bruins had a tough week, losing three players in four days. Patrice Bergeron broke his thumb in New York on Monday, Andrew Ference went down Tuesday with a groin injury and Marc Savard hurt his right knee Thursday. Bergeron could be back in a week to 10 days, while Savard is likely to miss 3-4 weeks and Ference may not return until after the Olympics. Byron Bitz also missed Saturday's game with a back problem.

Out -- Dallas center Mike Ribeiro suffered perhaps the scariest injury of the week when he took an accidental stick to the throat from the Rangers' Christopher Higgins (a former teammate). He'll miss 4-6 weeks with a throat contusion. The Stars also put defenseman Nicklas Grossman on IR with a lower-body injury sustained in the same game. ... Even as Detroit starts to get some of its injured players back, others are going down: Forward Tomas Holmstrom, the Wings' leader with 15 goals, will miss 3-4 weeks with a fractured bone in his foot. He was injured while working on tip-ins during practice Wednesday. ... Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu injured his hand Friday and will miss two weeks. ... Ottawa's Milan Michalek left Thursday's game with an upper-body injury and didn't play Saturday or Sunday. Jesse Winchester injured his knee Saturday and will miss a month, while defenseman Filip Kuba left Saturday's game with an upper-body injury and didn't play Sunday. ... Vancouver defensemen Sami Salo and Aaron Rome sat out Saturday after being cut near the left eye in separate incidents Thursday. ... Toronto defenseman Mike Komisarek missed the Leafs' last three games with an upper-body injury and isn't likely to play this week. ... Atlanta center Nik Antropov missed the Thrashers' three games last week with a hip injury. ... Colorado played Saturday without captain Adam Foote, who returned to Denver after injuring his ankle during the second period of Friday's loss to Carolina. ... Los Angeles placed defenseman Davis Drewiske on IR with a shoulder injury and said defenseman Matt Greene will miss a couple of games with an undisclosed injury.  ... Nashville captain Jason Arnott sat out Saturday's game with an upper-body injury and will miss at least the next two games. ... Chicago defenseman Cam Barker missed the Blackhawks' last three games with an upper-body injury. ... New Jersey forward David Clarkson, who missed 13 games with a broken ankle, will miss another 2-3 weeks with a right leg injury sustained last week.

Returning -- Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro played Friday night against Dallas. It was his first game in more than a year and followed knee injuries, surgery and extensive rehab. Center Nate Thompson returned Wednesday after missing two weeks with a shoulder injury. ... Detroit got two key forwards, Henrik Zetterberg and Dan Cleary, back Thursday. Zetterberg had missed eight games and Cleary had sat out 12, both with shoulder injuries. ... Anaheim got a boost when forward Teemu Selanne returned Saturday after missing more than a month with a broken hand. He scored a goal his return. ... Tampa Bay center Jeff Halpern, who has missed 16 days with a lower-body injury, returned Saturday. ... Pittsburgh defenseman Sergei Gonchar returned Saturday after missing four games with a foot injury. ... Phoenix forward Daniel Winnik (upper body) returned Thursday after missing five games. ... Boston forward Milan Lucic played Thursday for the first time since going down with an ankle sprain Nov. 25. ... Washington defenseman Brian Pothier returned Thursday after missing 11 games with a cracked rib.

Still out -- Montreal still is without the Kostitsyn brothers. Sergei hasn't played since Dec. 30 due to an ankle problem, while Andrei had knee surgery Friday that will keep him out for another 5-6 weeks. ... Nashville forward Jordin Tootoo, out for four weeks with a broken foot, will start skating this week. ... Atlanta goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who hasn't played all season while recovering from back surgery, still is a couple of weeks away from playing. ... Washington goalie Semyon Varlamov hurt his knee while rehabbing a groin injury. He's likely to miss another week or two. ... Philadelphia goaltender Ray Emery says he's ready to return after abdominal surgery last month; the Flyers have sent him to their AHL affiliate to get some work. ... Colorado placed forward Marek Svatos (groin) on IR, retroactive to Dec. 30. ... Phoenix placed Scottie Upshall, its top goal-scorer, on IR with an upper-body injury retroactive to Jan. 2.

The week ahead -- Yet another busy week, with seven teams packing in four games and only three playing just twice.

Games to watch:

San Jose at Los Angeles (Jan. 11) --
Expect the Sharks to come out with a chip on their shoulders -- a week earlier, the Kings went into San Jose and left with an embarrassing 6-2 victory.

New Jersey at N.Y. Rangers (Jan. 12, 7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN) --
The New York-area rivals meet for the third time this season, but the first since Oct. 22, when the Devils came into Madison Square Garden and handed the Rangers a 4-2 loss.

Boston at San Jose (Jan. 15, 10:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US) --
The Bruins come to the Shark Tank for the first time since October 2007. Boston is one of the few teams that have had significant success against San Jose -- they are 13-6 with 5 ties since the Sharks entered the NHL in 1991.

Pittsburgh at Vancouver (Jan. 16, 10 p.m. ET, CBC) -- Pittsburgh wraps its swing through Western Canada with its first stop in Vancouver since December 2007. That 3-2 shootout win was the Penguins' only victory against the Canucks since 2000.

Chicago at Detroit (Jan. 17, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) -- NBC kicks off its Sunday afternoon NHL coverage with Chicago's third and final visit of the season to Joe Louis Arena. The Blackhawks blanked Detroit 3-0 in a home-and-home series just before Christmas.

Tough week ahead:

Boston Bruins --
The B's leave the snow and cold of New England for a week in California. But they'll have a busy time with games in Anaheim and San Jose on Wednesday and Thursday followed by a Saturday matinee in Los Angeles.

Nashville Predators -- After spending some time at home, the Predators face the prospect of three games in five days on a swing through Western Canada, beginning with a game at Calgary on Monday night.

Pittsburgh Penguins --
Just what the slumping Penguins need -- four games in six nights on the road, including three in four nights on a swing through Western Canada that ends in Vancouver on Saturday.

Easy week ahead:

Los Angeles Kings --
Southern California in the winter is a nice place to be, and the Kings will be there all week as they continue a seven-game homestand with visits from San Jose, Anaheim and Boston.

New York Islanders --
After a week out West, the Isles get a breather. They have two days off before Detroit completes a six-game trip with a visit to the Nassau Coliseum, then get three more days off before Buffalo comes to Long Island.

Phoenix Coyotes -- Nothing like a week in the desert during the middle of winter. That's what the Coyotes face this week -- games 2-4 of a six-game homestand bring San Jose, New Jersey and Minnesota to Arena.
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