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Ellis Named to NHL's "Three Stars of the Week"

by Press Release / Nashville Predators
NEW YORK (Nov. 17, 2008) -- Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin and Nashville Predators goaltender Dan Ellis have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 16.

Awarding Start

Ellis's Three Stars award is the latest in a line of honors and awards picked up by Preds players, coaches, and prospects through the season's opening stretch.

Early last week Ellis was recognized with's First Star of the Day and's Top Performer for his franchise-record 54-save win at San Jose.

Head Coach Barry Trotz reached the 750 game milestone on Nov. 4 at Vancouver, the prime NHL milestone marker for head coaches. In doing so, Trotz became just the 10th coach in league history to record 750 games with one team.

Defenseman Shea Weber was named to the NHL's "Three Stars" for the month of October, after posting 11 points and a +5 ratings in 10 games during the season's opening month.

The team's last three first round picks, prospects Jonathon Blum, Chet Pickard, and Colin Wilson also got in on the action. Blum was named the WHL's Player of the Month for October; Pickard was named to the WHL's Entry in the ADT Canada/Russia Challenge; Wilson was named Hockey East's Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 10.

Backstrom led all NHL scorers with 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and posted a +10 rating in four games as the Capitals (10-4-3, 23 points) posted a 3-0-1 record and took first place in the Southeast Division. Backstrom began the week with one assist and a +2 rating in a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay Nov. 10, recorded a goal, three assists and a +4 rating in a 5-1 victory at Carolina Nov. 12 and had one assist and +1 rating in a 3-1 win over New Jersey Nov.14. In the return leg of the home-and-home series against the Devils, Backstrom set a career high with five points (one goal, four assists) and registered a +3 rating in a 6-5 shootout loss at New Jersey Nov. 15. The runner-up for the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie last season, Backstrom has 12 points in his past five games -- triple his point total from the first 12 games of the season (0-4--4).

Ovechkin ended a nine-game goal drought, the longest of his NHL career, by tallying in each of Washington's four games last week; he ranked second to Backstrom among NHL scorers with 10 points (five goals, five assists) and posted a League-best +11 rating. Ovechkin recorded a goal, an assist and a +2 rating in a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay Nov. 10, notched a goal, two assists and a +4 rating in a 5-1 victory at Carolina Nov. 12 and was 1-1--2 and +2 in a 3-1 win over New Jersey Nov. 14. The reigning NHL MVP and scoring champion concluded the week with his fourth consecutive multiple-point game by recording two goals, an assist and a +3 rating -- including the game-tying tally at 19:59 of the third period -- in a 6-5 shootout loss at New Jersey Nov. 15.

Ellis posted a 3-0-0 record, 2.28 goals-against average and .944 save percentage as the Predators (9-7-1, 19 points) concluded their season-long, six-game road trip with three consecutive victories. Ellis set a franchise record by making 54 saves in a 4-3 overtime victory at San Jose Nov. 11, made 32 stops in a 4-3 overtime win at Anaheim Nov. 14 and finished the week by making 33 saves in a 3-1 win at Los Angeles Nov. 15. Ellis improved his season record to 7-7-1 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .898 save percentage.

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