NEW YORK - Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Nov. 20.
FIRST STAR - JEFF CARTER, C, LOS ANGELES KINGS
Carter paced the NHL with three game-winning tallies - and also tied for the League lead with four total goals (4-2-6) - in four outings to propel the Kings (10-9-1, 21 points) into a share of first place, in terms of points, in the Pacific Division. After being held off the scoresheet in a 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Nov. 15, Carter scored the decisive goal in three consecutive outings: a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Nov. 17 (1-1-2), a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils Nov. 19 and a 3-2 triumph over the Anaheim Ducks Nov. 20 (2-1-3). In doing so, he became the first Kings player to record the winning goal in three straight team games since Dec. 2-9, 2010 (Anze Kopitar). The 31-year-old London, Ont., native - who eclipsed 600 career points Sunday (316-285-601 in 815 GP) - leads the NHL with five game-winning goals and ranks first on Los Angeles with 9-8-17 in 20 contests this season.
SECOND STAR - CAM WARD, G, CAROLINA HURRICANES
Ward went 3-0-0 with a 1.01 goals-against average, .964 save percentage and one shutout to help the Hurricanes (7-6-4, 18 points) complete a perfect week and extend his, as well as the team's, overall winning streak to four games. Ward stopped all 22 shots he faced to pick up his 24th career shutout - and first of the season - in a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks Nov. 15. He then made 31 saves in a 3-2 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens Nov. 18 and 28 saves in a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets Nov. 20. The 32-year-old Saskatoon, Sask., native owns a 6-4-3 record with a 2.36 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 13 appearances this season. Ward's four-game winning streak is his longest since Feb. 16-28, 2015 (also 4-0-0).
THIRD STAR - NICKLAS BACKSTROM, C, WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Backstrom led the NHL with 4-4-8 in four games to power the Capitals (11-5-2, 24 points) to five out of a possible eight standings points. He scored the club's lone goal in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Nov. 15 before matching a career high with 2-3-5, including the decisive tally, in a 7-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Nov. 16. Backstrom then was held off the scoresheet in a 1-0 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings Nov. 18, but closed the week with 1-1-2 in a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles with 9-8-17 in 20 contests this season.