Taylor Hall named NHL's First Star of the Week
Oilers winger racks up nine points in four games over the past seven days
NEW YORK – Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov and Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending April 6.
Hall led all players with seven assists and nine points, finding the scoresheet in four consecutive games to help the Oilers (28-42-9, 65 points) pick up a pair of wins. He matched a season high with 1-3—4 in a 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks April 1. Hall then collected an assist in each of the next two games: a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks April 2 and a 3-2 shootout victory over the Phoenix Coyotes April 4. He capped the week by recording 1-2—3, his sixth game of three or more points this season, in a 4-2 win over the Ducks April 6. The 22-year-old native of Calgary leads the Oilers and ranks seventh in the NHL with a career-high 77 points this season. He also has posted career highs in goals (27, tied), assists (50), shots on goal (244) and games played (72).
Varlamov compiled a 3-0-1 record with a 1.42 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and one shutout to help the Avalanche (50-21-7, 107 points) move two points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks (45-19-15, 105 points) for the No. 2 seed in the Central Division. He opened the week by making 24 saves in a 3-2 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets April 1. Varlamov then made 29 stops, and denied all three shootout attempts he faced, in a 3-2 triumph over the New York Rangers April 3. He followed that up with 31 saves for his second shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues April 5, before closing the week with 30 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins April 6. The 25-year-old native of Samara, Russia, leads the League with 40 wins this season, matching Patrick Roy's franchise record established in 2000-01. He also places fourth in the NHL with a .927 save percentage and has a 2.41 goals-against average in 62 appearances.
Pacioretty tied for the League lead with four goals and also contributed two assists to help the Canadiens (45-27-7, 97 points) move four points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning (42-27-9, 93 points) for the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Division. After being held off the scoresheet in a 3-1 loss to the Lightning April 1, Pacioretty recorded a career-high 3-2—5, including his third hat trick and League-leading 11th game-winning goal of the season, in a 7-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators April 4. He then added his team-leading 39th goal of the season, tied for third in the NHL, in a 5-3 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings April 5. The 25-year-old native of New Canaan, Conn., leads the Canadiens with 60 points in 70 games, five off his career high set in 2011-12, and also is the first Montreal player to post three hat tricks in one season since Pierre Larouche in 1980-81.