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Nash, Rafalski and Ward named week's 'Three Stars'

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NEW YORK -- Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Rick Nash, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski and Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Jan. 4.

FIRST STAR -- RICK NASH, LW, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS Nash highlights

Nash led all NHL scorers for the week with nine points (two goals, seven assists), helping the Blue Jackets (18-17-4) post three wins in four road games. He recorded one goal and one assist in a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 29, notched one assist in a 2-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks Dec. 31 and posted a season-high four points (one goal, three assists) and a +4 rating in a 6-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche Jan. 2. Nash finished the week by notching a pair of assists in a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues Jan. 3. The Blue Jackets captain leads the club in scoring with 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 39 games.

SECOND STAR -- BRIAN RAFALSKI, D, DETROIT RED WINGS Rafalski highlights

Rafalski recorded six points (one goal, five assists), including five in Detroit's home-and-home sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks, as the Red Wings (26-7-5) went 3-0-0 and increased their Central Division lead to eight points. He recorded two assists in a 4-0 home victory over the Blackhawks Dec. 30, tallied a goal and two assists in the 6-4 win over Chicago in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009 at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day and posted one assist in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild Jan. 3. Rafalski ranks third among NHL defensemen in scoring this season with 31 points (five goals, 26 assists) in 38 games.

THIRD STAR -- CAM WARD, G, CAROLINA HURRICANES Ward highlights

Ward posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.33 goals-against average and .944 save percentage, helping the Hurricanes (20-15-5) climb to seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. He made 20 saves in a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers Dec. 31, stopped 30 of 31 shots in a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues Jan. 2 and posted 17 saves in a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Jan. 3. Ward improved his season record to 15-9-3 with a 2.45 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and one shutout in 28 games.
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