NEW YORK – Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise, Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Phil Kessel and Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the period ending Feb. 2.
FIRST STAR— ZACH PARISE, LW, MINNESOTA WILD
Parise led the NHL with eight points (3-5--8) last week as the Wild (29-21-7) went 1-1-1 in three road contests. Parise began the week by tallying the game-winning goal plus two assists in a 4-2 win at Anaheim Jan. 28, handing the Ducks their second regulation loss in 25 home starts. He recorded a season-high four points (2-2--4) and nine shots in a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Jan. 30 and notched an assist in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames Feb. 1. Parise also was named captain of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team on Jan. 31. The 29-year-old Minneapolis native, who served as an alternate captain for the silver medal-winning U.S. team at Vancouver in 2010, has recorded 35 points (18-17--35) in 42 games with the Wild this season.
SECOND STAR –- PHIL KESSEL, RW, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Kessel recorded seven points (3-4--7) last week, helping the Maple Leafs (30-21-6) climb to third place in the Atlantic Division with three consecutive victories. He earned an assist on the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Jan. 28, recorded two assists in a 6-3 victory over the Florida Panthers Jan. 30 and tallied his fifth career hat trick and one assist in a 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators Feb. 1. The 26-year-old Madison, Wisc. native, who will represent the United States at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games later this month, leads the Maple Leafs in scoring and is fourth in the League overall with 61 points (30-31--61) in 57 games. His 30 goals rank second in the League to Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (39).
THIRD STAR – MIKAEL BACKLUND, C, CALGARY FLAMES
Backlund recorded six points (4-2--6) last week, highlighted by multiple points in each of his three appearances, as the Flames (21-27-7) closed out their first 5-0-0 homestand since Feb. 7-15, 1997. Backlund began the week by notching two goals, one shorthanded, in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Jan. 28. He tallied two assists in a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks Jan. 30 and he closed the week by recording a shorthanded tally as well as the overtime winner in a 4-3 decision over the Minnesota Wild Feb. 1. The 24-year-old Vasteras, Sweden native increased his season scoring total to 13-14--27 in 54 games.