-- Nashville Predators
goaltender Pekka Rinne
, Chicago Blackhawks
center Jonathan Toews
and Ottawa Senators
center Jason Spezza
have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Sunday, Dec 7.
FIRST STAR -- PEKKA RINNE, G, NASHVILLE PREDATORS Rinne highlights
Rinne posted three victories in as many starts last week, earning a pair of shutouts and allowing just two goals -- neither of which were at even strength -- on 83 shots for a .976 save percentage. He stopped all 30 shots for his first career NHL shutout in a 2-0 victory at Buffalo Dec. 1, made 19 saves in a 3-2 victory over Colorado Dec. 4 and stopped 32 shots in a 1-0 victory over Minnesota Dec. 6. Rinne is a perfect 6-0-0 in eight games this season and has posted a 1.24 goals-against average and .954 save percentage in his past four appearances. Selected 258th overall in the 2004 Entry Draft, the 26-year-old Oulu, Finland native is one of three rookie goaltenders to have won each of his first three decisions in 2008-09, joining Columbus' Steve Mason
and Edmonton's Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers.
SECOND STAR -- JONATHAN TOEWS, C, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS Toews highlights
Toews recorded six points (four goals, two assists) in three games, including a pair of game-winning goals, as the Blackhawks earned five of six available points. He tallied multiple points in each game, beginning with the game-winning goal and one assist in a 4-2 victory over Anaheim Dec. 3. He notched a pair of goals in a 5-4 shootout loss at Detroit Dec. 6 and finished the week by scoring the game-winner and adding one assist in a 7-1 victory over Phoenix Dec. 7. The 20-year-old Blackhawks captain increased his season scoring total to 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 25 games.
THIRD STAR -- JASON SPEZZA, C, OTTAWA SENATORS Spezza highlights
Spezza recorded four points, all goals, as the Senators won both starts last week. He notched the game-winning goal in a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers
Dec. 3 and tallied his second career hat trick in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh Dec. 6. It marked the second time a Senators player has scored all three goals in a 3-2 win; the other came on the first hat trick in franchise history, tallied by Bob Kudelski in a 3-2 win over San Jose on Jan. 10, 1993. Spezza ranks third in scoring on the Senators with 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 24 games.