Sabres winger Thomas Vanek earns NHL’s first star of the week award

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Thomas Vanek, who helped the Buffalo Sabres clinch a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, has earned the NHL’s first star of the week award.

Tampa Bay Lightning centre Vincent Lecavalier is the second star, while Anaheim Ducks goaltender Dan Ellis earned third star honours.

Vanek recorded consecutive three-point games last week. He completed the 2010-11 regular-season as the Sabres leader in goals (32), assists (41) and points (73).

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Lecavalier recorded goals in each of Tampa Bay’s three games to finish the week with five points (four goals, one assist), as the Lightning secured the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Ellis posted a 2-0-0 record, 1.21 goals-against average and .964 save percentage in three appearances as the Ducks staged a late charge up the Western Conference standings to earn home-ice advantage for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.