-- Carolina Hurricanes
goaltender Cam Ward
, Vancouver Canucks
center Henrik Sedin
and Columbus Blue Jackets
left wing Rick Nash
have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the month of March.
FIRST STAR -- CAM WARD, G, CAROLINA HURRICANES Ward highlights
Ward backstopped the Hurricanes to fifth place in the Eastern Conference and within seven points of clinching a playoff berth by posting a 10-1-2 record, 1.98 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in 13 starts. Ward allowed two goals or fewer in nine games, beginning with a 39-save performance in a 5-2 victory at Washington Mar. 3. He recorded his fifth shutout of the season by stopping all 28 shots in a 3-0 victory over the New York Rangers
Mar. 9, made a month-high 41 saves in a 4-2 victory over New Jersey Mar. 18 and blocked 37 shots in a 3-2 overtime victory at Florida Mar. 23. Ward has started each of the Hurricanes’ past 24 games, the longest such streak of his NHL career. He has posted a 16-6-2 record and two shutouts in that span.
SECOND STAR -- HENRIK SEDIN, C, VANCOUVER CANUCKS Sedin highlights
Sedin notched 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) and a +9 rating in 15 games, helping the Canucks go 11-3-1 and take the Northwest Division lead. He recorded multiple points in five of his last 10 games, including two-goal, one-assist efforts in victories over the Los Angeles Kings
(4-2, Mar. 14) and Dallas Stars
(5-2, Mar. 24). Sedin put an exclamation point on the Canucks' outstanding month by scoring in overtime at Minnesota Mar. 31, giving Vancouver the victory it needed to overtake the Calgary Flames
and move into the Northwest Division lead. Sedin already has set a single-season career high in goals (19) and is five points shy of his career-best point total of 81 set in 2006-07.
THIRD STAR -- RICK NASH, LW, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS Nash highlights
Nash tallied 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) and a +7 rating in 15 games to lead the Blue Jackets in goals and points in the month as the club posted a 9-4-2 record. He picked up points in 10 of 15 games, including his fourth career hat trick at Detroit on Mar. 7. In that game, he became the first player since Montreal’s Maurice Richard
in 1948 to score three unassisted goals in a game. He also collected a career-high four assists in a 5-0 win over Calgary on Mar. 26. Nash has tallied 36-38--74 in 73 games this season, leading the club in goals, assists and points and setting career highs in assists and points.