NEW YORK – Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Dec. 1.
FIRST STAR – EVGENI MALKIN, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Malkin earned "First Star" honors for the second consecutive week after leading all skaters with nine points (3-6—9), helping the Penguins (18-9-1, 37 points) earn seven out of a possible eight points to remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division. He opened the week by recording an assist in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins Nov. 25. Malkin then posted his first multi-goal game of the season, registering 2-1—3 plus the shootout clincher, in a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Nov. 27. He added another assist in a 3-0 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning Nov. 29 before closing the week with a season-high three helpers and four points in a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers Nov. 30. The 27-year-old native of Magnitogorsk, Russia, has 4-13—17 during an eight-game assist/point streak dating to Nov. 18. He leads the NHL with 28 assists and ranks second with 35 points, one behind teammate Sidney Crosby (13-23—36), in 28 games this season.
SECOND STAR – NIKLAS KRONWALL, D, DETROIT RED WINGS
Kronwall posted a trio of multi-point games in leading the Red Wings (14-7-7, 35 points) to three victories in three starts. He scored his third goal of the season, all on the power play, and added an assist in a 6-1 victory over the Boston Bruins Nov. 27. Kronwall then posted a pair of two-assist games: in a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders Nov. 29 and in a 4-2 triumph over the Ottawa Senators Dec. 1. The 32-year-old Stockholm native has 2-7—9 during a six-game point streak dating to Nov. 21, including assists in five consecutive contests. He is tied for fourth among NHL defensemen with 18 assists and 21 points in 26 games this season.
THIRD STAR – DUNCAN KEITH, D, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Keith tied for the League lead with six assists as the Blackhawks (20-4-4, 44 points) won all four of their games to move atop the NHL standings. He collected a pair of assists in a 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Nov. 25. Keith then posted one helper in both a 3-2 triumph over the Calgary Flames Nov. 27 and a 2-1 shootout win over the Dallas Stars Nov. 29. He capped the week by recording two assists, his fourth multi-point game of the season, in a 5-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes Nov. 30. The 30-year-old Winnipeg native has 0-9—9 during a seven-game assist/point streak dating to Nov. 19. He leads all NHL defensemen with 23 assists and ranks second among blueliners with 24 points in 28 games this season.