-- Toronto Maple Leafs
right wing Phil Kessel
, New York Islanders
center John Tavares
and Dallas Stars
goaltender Kari Lehtonen
have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' of the week.
Each Monday, the NHL will recognize three players who delivered the League's top performances over the past week. Due to the mid-week start to the regular season Oct. 6, today's selections were based on games from Thursday, Oct. 6 through Sunday, Oct. 16.
FIRST STAR -- PHIL KESSEL, RW, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Right Wing - TOR
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 8
SOG: 11 | +/-: 7
Kessel sparked the Maple Leafs to three victories in as many starts, topping all NHL scorers with eight points (five goals, three assists) and sharing the League lead in plus-minus (+7). He recorded an assist in Toronto's 2-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens
Oct. 6, tallied his third career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, and one assist in a 6-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators
Oct. 8 and notched a pair of goals, including another game-winner, plus one assist in a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames
Oct. 15. Kessel became just the third Leafs player in the past 66 years to score five goals in the team's first three games of a season, joining Darryl Sittler
(1978-79) and Wendel Clark
(1986-87 and 1991-92).
SECOND STAR -- JOHN TAVARES, C, NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Tavares tallied eight points (five goals, three assists) in four games, helping the Islanders start the season 3-1-0. The first overall pick in the 2009 Entry Draft had the best two-game stretch of his young NHL career when he posted back-to-back four-point outings. Tavares had two goals and two assists in the first period of a 5-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning
on Oct. 13, then had an assist before scoring the last three goals in a 4-2 victory against the archrival New York Rangers
Oct. 15. The 21-year-old Mississauga, Ontario native is the first Islanders player to record eight points in a two-game span since Robert Reichel
tallied nine points from March 27-29, 1997.
THIRD STAR -- KARI LEHTONEN, G, DALLAS STARS
Lehtonen helped the Stars take the Pacific Division lead by posting a 4-0-0 record with a 1.48 goals-against average and League-leading .955 save percentage. The 27-year-old Helsinki, Finland native stopped 126 of 132 shots, beginning with 37 saves in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks
Oct. 7 in the Stars' season opener. He turned aside 40 shots in a 2-1 shootout victory over the Phoenix Coyotes
Oct. 10, made 36 saves in a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues
Oct. 13 and stopped 13 shots in a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets
Oct. 15. Acquired by the Stars in February 2010, Lehtonen improved to 44-28-11 in a Dallas uniform.