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Green, Elliott, Datsyuk lead this week's nominees

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 this week include a defenseman who made history, a red-hot rookie goaltender and one of the NHL's best two-way players.

Washington defenseman Mike Green is scoring at a pace most forwards would have trouble keeping up with. Green scored twice in each of his two games last week to give him a seven-game goal-scoring streak -- tying the League record for defensemen set by Boston's Mike O'Connell 25 years ago.

Green scored twice in the third period to give the Caps a 3-1 win over Florida, then had two more against All-Star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to help Washington earn a point in a 5-4 shootout loss against the New York Rangers.

"Things just seem to be rolling lately," Green said after tying the record. "It feels pretty special. I honestly didn't even realize [the record] until yesterday. I tried not to think about it before the game, but I'm pretty happy right now."

So is rookie goaltender Brian Elliott, whose play has helped revive the sagging Ottawa Senators. Elliott won all three of his starts last week, allowing only five goals, as the Senators put together their longest winning streak of the season. He beat Buffalo 3-2 at Scotiabank Place and 3-1 at HSBC Arena on Wednesday before leading the Sens to a 5-2 win at Philadelphia the next night.

"Our goaltender was the best player on the ice tonight," Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said after the win over the Flyers.

Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings is one of the best players on the ice every night. Datsyuk keyed a six-game winning streak by the Wings with 5 goals and 3 assists, including consecutive two-goal performances against Pittsburgh and Nashville.

"Pavel always gets better as the year goes on," coach Mike Babcock said. "He's usually his best at playoff time. He's just so good with the puck, so responsible defensively, and yet he can be such a physical player at the same time. I think that's one of the things that's underrated about him, is how physical he can be. Him and Z (Henrik Zetterberg) got magic together, obviously, we all know that, and I think they play better together probably than they do apart. But Pavel, he's got it going right now."

Last week's winner, Washington's Alex Ovechkin, is always a threat to make this list. A.O. had a weekend for the ages last week, scoring two goals -- one of them a highlight-reel tally -- in a 4-2 victory over Detroit on Saturday, then lit up Ottawa for three more in a 7-4 win on Sunday. He added two assists in a 5-2 win at New Jersey and became one of the youngest players in NHL history to reach the 200-goal mark when he scored Thursday night against Los Angeles.

"Alex is one of those big-game guys," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said after the win over Detroit -- a game in which Ovechkin's spectacular goal broke a 2-2 tie midway through the third period. "You keep throwing him out there and throwing (him) out there and eventually good things will happen."

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