TORONTO - Washington captain Alex Ovechkin is the NHL's first star of the week after accumulating eight points and helping the Capitals get back into the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Ovechkin had five goals and three assists over four games last week, stretching his overall season-long scoring streak to five games (six goals, three assists).
After picking up a goal in Washington's 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh to start the week, he had five points in back-to-back road wins over Winnipeg.
He capped the week with a goal and an assist in regulation, plus the opening goal in the shootout in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers.
The successful week put the struggling Capitals back in the playoff picture. Washington is 10th in the East, two points behind the eighth-place Rangers.
Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom and Toronto forward Nazem Kadri took second- and third-star honours respectively.
Backstrom posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.00 goals-against average, .972 save percentage and one shutout in three starts to help the Wild extend its win streak to a season-high five games.
Kadri has seven points (three goals, four assists) in three games.