The Anaheim Ducks have turned their season around with a remarkable rally in 2012, and goaltender Jonas Hiller has been the catalyst.
Hiller continued his recent run of sublime form, and Monday was named the NHL's first star of the week, the League announced. The Swiss-born goaltender is 13-3-4 since the calendar turned to January, and the Ducks have come from 20 points back of eighth place in the Western Conference to within five after a 2-0 win Sunday against the Florida Panthers.
Anaheim went 3-0-1 this week, all on the road and all with Hiller in net. He stopped 98 of 102 shots he faced, and Hiller has allowed two goals or fewer in 17 of his past 20 appearances.
A team making a move upward in the standings in the Eastern Conference is the Winnipeg Jets, and forward Blake Wheeler was named the second star in the NHL this past week. Wheeler had a goal and seven assists in four games for the Jets.
Wheeler had four assists in a 5-1 win Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche that pushed the Jets into ninth place and level with eighth-place Toronto at 64 points. Winnipeg is also just one point shy of Florida for the top spot in the Southeast Division.
Ottawa played only two games this week, but Jason Spezza had three goals and four assists to earn third star of the week honors. Spezza had a hat trick and an assist Tuesday at Tampa Bay and added three more assists the next night against Florida.
Spezza now has 12 points in the past four games, and the Senators are 3-0-1 in those contests.