-- Carolina Hurricanes
center Eric Staal
, Pittsburgh Penguins
goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury
and Columbus Blue Jackets
left wing Rick Nash
have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Mar. 8..
FIRST STAR -- ERIC STAAL, C, CAROLINA HURRICANES Staal highlights
Staal led the NHL in scoring for the week, tallying nine points (five goals, four assists) as the Hurricanes (35-27-5) posted three consecutive victories and closed within one point of a playoff spot in the tight Eastern Conference race. Staal tallied one goal in a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals
Mar. 3, notched two assists in a 6-1 win over the Calgary Flames
Mar. 6 and capped the week by tying single-game franchise records for goals (four) and points (six) in a 9-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning
Mar. 7. Staal leads the Hurricanes in goals (32), points (58), power-play goals (11), game-winning goals (eight) and shots (305).
SECOND STAR -- MARC-ANDRE FLEURY, G, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS Fleury highlights
Fleury stopped 92 of 97 shots in posting a 3-0-0 record with a 1.63 goals-against average and .948 save percentage as the Penguins (35-26-6) moved into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. He began the week by recording 32 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning
Mar. 3, turned aside 30 of 31 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers
Mar. 5 and made 29 stops in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Washington Capitals
Mar. 8. Fleury has posted a 27-16-4 record, 2.78 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and three shutouts in 49 appearances this season.
THIRD STAR -- RICK NASH, LW, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS Nash highlights
Nash tallied six points (four goals, two assists) and posted a +4 rating in leading the Blue Jackets (33-27-6) to a pair of victories in three starts. He collected two assists, including one on the game-winning goal in the third period, in a 5-4 win over Los Angeles Mar. 3 and two nights later scored one goal in a 4-2 loss at Nashville. On Mar. 7, he notched three goals and posted a +3 rating in an 8-2 victory at Detroit. It marked his fourth career hat trick and second against the Red Wings this season. All three goals were unassisted, becoming the first player to record an 'unassisted hat trick' since Maurice Richard
of the Montreal Canadiens
on Mar. 14, 1948. Nash leads Columbus in goals (31), assists (33), points (64), shorthanded goals (four), game-winning goals (five) and shots (207).