Sam Gagner named NHL Star of the Week
Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner was named the NHL's First Star of the week ending Feb. 5.
|Sam Gagner holds 11 points in just 2 games (photo by: Andy Devlin)|
Gagner tallied a League-leading 12 points (six goals, six assists) last week -- highlighted by an historic two-game scoring run that included points on 11 consecutive Edmonton goals -- as the Oilers recorded three consecutive victories. After tallying one assist in a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche Jan. 31, Gagner scored eight points (four goals, four assists) in an 8-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Feb. 2 -- the highest single-game point total by an NHL player in more than 23 years. The last player to record as many as eight points in a game was Pittsburgh Penguins center Mario Lemieux, who tallied five goals and three assists against the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 31, 1988. Gagner also tied the Oilers' single-game record for points, shared by Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey.
The 22-year-old center continued his heroics 48 hours later, notching two goals and one assist on the first three Oilers goals and later adding a shootout tally in a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Feb. 4. By earning points on 11 consecutive goals, Gagner surpassed the franchise record set by Oilers icon Wayne Gretzky, who figured in 10 consecutive Edmonton goals on two occasions. It also marked the longest such streak by an NHL player since Jaromir Jagr set the record with a 15-goal run for Pittsburgh in the 1999-2000 season.
SECOND STAR -- ILYA KOVALCHUK, LW, NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Kovalchuk notched 10 points (three goals, seven assists), leading the Devils to four consecutive victories and sixth place in the Eastern Conference. He notched one goal in a 4-3 shootout victory over the New York Rangers Jan. 31, recorded three assists in a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens Feb. 2, tallied one goal and two assists in a 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Feb. 4 and finished the week with a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Feb. 5. The 10-year NHL veteran ranks second on the Devils in scoring with 50 points (22 goals, 28 assists) in 47 games and is nine goals shy of the 400-goal career milestone.
THIRD STAR -- JAMES REIMER, G, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Reimer posted shutouts in consecutive games, lifting the Maple Leafs into the eighth playoff position in the Eastern Conference. He made 25 saves in a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Feb. 1 and turned aside 49 shots in a 5-0 win over the Ottawa Senators Feb. 4. Reimer's 49 saves were the most by a Toronto goaltender in a regular-season shutout since the introduction of the shots statistic more than a half century ago. The previous franchise high was 47 saves, set by Mike Palmateer in a 6-0 home win over Detroit on March 12, 1977.