Western Conference 3 Stars
Third star: San Jose Sharks F Patrick Marleau. Guess who the Blackhawks get to see right out of the break? Yeah, this guy. To be fair, he had one obscene period 20 minutes of hockey to boost his league-leading six points last week, including five goals.
Heading into the third period against Colorado tied at 1, Marleau rattled off three consecutive goals in less than eight minutes. He then followed an Avs strike with his fourth goal of the night. He’d add a goal and a helper over the Sharks’ next two games, as they nearly carried a seven-game win streak into the break.
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Second star: Los Angeles Kings G Peter Budaj. There were some ridiculous goaltending stats in the Western Conference this week. Budaj had some of them, posting two wins and a shutout last week.
Budaj recorded a .979 save percentage and 0.50 goals-against average while stopping 46 of 47 shots in wins against New Jersey (3-1) and Carolina (3-0). For a team scrapping and clawing in the playoff race, those were two key performances.
First star: Edmonton Oilers G Cam Talbot. But topping Budaj’s stats was Talbot, a guy who’s had some success in the past but seems to have trouble sustaining it. We’ll see how well he can sustain a two-win week that saw him post a shutout as well.
Talbot notched a .983 save percentage and 0.50 goals-against average when he backstopped the Oilers to wins against Anaheim and San Jose on back-to-back nights. He halted 58 of 59 shots over the course of those two games, propelling the Oil into a tie for first in the Pacific.