Toronto Maple Leafs right-winger Phil Kessel was named the NHL’s first star Monday after leading the league with eight points in four games.
Goaltender Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks was named second star and forward Matt Calvert of the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the third star.
The highlight of Kessel’s week was when he tied a career-best four points (two goals, two assists) in Toronto’s 5-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 24. He also scored the game-winning goal in the Maple Leafs’ 2-1 triumph over the New York Islanders on Feb. 22.
Although Kessel was in a goal-scoring slump in early February, he’s rebounded with 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in his past seven games.
He leads Toronto in goals (26), power-play goals (10) and shots (267), and ranks second in points (47) and game-winning goals (four).
Crawford won all three games he started with a 1.95 goals-against average, a .936 save percentage and a 31-save shutout of the Nashville Predators on Feb. 24 to keep the Blackhawks competitive in the Western Conference’s playoff race.
Calvert led the league with five goals scored as Columbus won two of its three games last week. He became the second rookie in Blue Jackets history to score a hat trick, including the deciding goal, in a 5-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 25.