NEW YORK -- Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Feb. 18.


Matthews recorded hat tricks in consecutive games, leading the NHL with six total goals (6-2—8 in 3 GP) to lift the Maple Leafs (29-16-8, 66 points) into third place in the Atlantic Division via a perfect week. Matthews, who was held off the scoresheet in a 4-1 victory against the St. Louis Blues Feb. 13, potted his first career natural hat trick – and fifth three-goal performance of 2023-24 – in a 4-3 overtime win versus the Philadelphia Flyers Feb. 15. He then registered a hat trick in consecutive contests for the second time this season (also Oct. 11-14: 6-0—6 in 2 GP), setting a career high with 3-2—5 in a 9-2 triumph over the Anaheim Ducks Feb. 17. Matthews became the fifth player in League history to post hat tricks in consecutive games multiple times within a single season, joining Wayne Gretzky (1983-84 w/ EDM), Mike Bossy (1980-81 w/ NYI), Joe Malone (1917-18 w/ MTL) and Reg Noble (1917-18 w/ TAN). He also set a franchise record and became the 10th different player in NHL history – and first Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 (w/ PIT) – with at least six hat tricks in a single season. The 26-year-old Matthews, who already owns two Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies (2021-22 and 2020-21), paces the League with 48 goals – nine more than the next-closest player – through 52 total outings this season (48-23—71). The 2024 NHL All-Star Game MVP also ranks among the 2023-24 leaders in power-play goals (t-2nd; 13), shots on goal (4th; 225), shooting percentage (4th; 21.3% – minimum: 1 SOG/GP) and points (7th; 71).


McDavid topped the NHL with 10 assists/points (0-10—10) in three contests to propel the Oilers (32-18-1, 65 points) to a pair of wins. He set a career high with six assists – one shy of the single-game League record – in an 8-4 victory against the Detroit Red Wings Feb. 13. McDavid became the second NHL player to post six helpers in a game this season, following the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Kris Letang (Dec. 27 at NYI), and just the second Edmonton player to do so since the 1980s (also Leon Draisaitl: Jan. 31, 2021 vs. OTT). In the process, McDavid (616 GP) became the fourth-fastest player in League history to reach the 600-assist milestone, behind only Gretzky (416 GP), Lemieux (514 GP) and Bobby Orr (608 GP). McDavid added three helpers, his eighth three-assist performance of the season, in a 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues Feb. 15 before collecting one apple in a 4-3 overtime win versus the Dallas Stars Feb. 17. The 27-year-old McDavid paces the NHL with 60 assists through 49 total games in 2023-24 (21-60—81), the eighth straight season he has reached the 60-assist mark. He also sits among the 2023-24 leaders in points (3rd; 81), power-play assists (t-4th; 22), plus/minus (8th; +22) and power-play points (t-9th; 27).


Tkachuk placed third in the League with 3-5—8 in three outings to help the Panthers (36-15-4, 76 points) move into first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference via a five-game winning streak dating to Feb. 8. He registered 1-2—3 in a 5-2 triumph against the Pittsburgh Penguins Feb. 14, then picked up one assist in a 4-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Feb. 15. Tkachuk capped the week with 2-2—4, his third four-point performance of the season (all since the start of 2024), in a 9-2 win versus the Tampa Bay Lightning Feb. 17. The 26-year-old Tkachuk, who has compiled 4-9—13 during an active five-game point streak, ranks among the top 15 this season in power-play assists (t-7th; 21), assists (t-10th; 44), shots on goal (12th; 194) and points (14th; 64) through 55 total appearances (20-44—64). He also leads the NHL with 15-22—37 in 19 outings since the start of the calendar year, four points more than the next-closest players.

FLA@TBL: Tkachuk scores his second goal of game on power play