Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Mark Recchi was named the NHL’s First Star for the week ending Jan. 28.
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Fredrik Norrena and Edmonton Oilers left wing Ryan Smyth joined Recchi as the NHL’s ‘Three Stars.’
Each Monday, the NHL recognizes three players who delivered the league’s top performances over the past week.
FIRST STAR – MARK RECCHI, RW, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Recchi tied for the NHL lead in scoring with six points (3+3), highlighted by 500th career NHL goal, as the Penguins won a pair of road games following the All-Star break. He notched his milestone 500th goal with the second of two tallies in a 4-3 shootout victory at Dallas on Friday, becoming the 38th player in NHL history to reach the mark. Recchi concluded the week with four points (1+3) in a 7-2 victory at Phoenix Saturday, raising his season points total 48 (17+31) in 48 games. The Penguins (23-17-8, 54 points) are 23 points ahead of their 2005-06 total through the corresponding number of games, the NHL's biggest increase.
SECOND STAR – FREDRIK NORRENA, G, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Norrena posted consecutive victories with a 1.88 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in two weekend appearances following the All-Star break, helping the Blue Jackets (20-25-5, 45 points) move within 11 points of the eighth playoff berth in the Western Conference. Playing in his first NHL season, the 33-year-old Pietarsaari, Finland native stopped 36 of 38 shots in a 3-2 comeback victory over the Buffalo Sabres Friday and stopped 20 of 21 shots in 36 minutes of action before leaving the game due to injury in a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild Saturday. Norrena improved to 13-12-2 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .898 save percentage.
THIRD STAR -- RYAN SMYTH, LW, EDMONTON OILERS
Smyth tallied five points (2+3) in two games as the Oilers (24-22-4, 52 points) split a pair of games following the All-Star break. He recorded an assist on the Oilers’ lone goal in a 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks Friday and figured in each Edmonton goal with four points (2+2) in a 4-3 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Kings Saturday. The performance matched his career single-game scoring high. Smyth earned an assist on Shawn Horcoff’s game-tying goal at 1:07 of the third period and tallied the game-winner, his fifth of the season, at 7:58. Smyth, who also posted one assist in the Western Conference’s 12-9 victory over the Eastern Conference in the NHL All-Star Game Wednesday, leads the Oilers in goals (25) and points (41).