NEW YORK – Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark and Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Feb. 26.
FIRST STAR – CONNOR McDAVID, C, EDMONTON OILERS
McDavid, who recorded multiple goals and points in all three of his appearances, led the NHL in goals (6), points (11), shots on goal (23), plus/minus (+7), power-play assists (t-3), power-play points (t-4) and shorthanded goals/points (2) to propel the Oilers (32-20-8, 72 points) to a 2-1-0 week. Down 2-1 entering the third period, McDavid posted 2‑1—3 (including his eighth game-winning goal of the season) to lift Edmonton to a 4-2 comeback victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Feb. 21. In doing so, he became the fifth-fastest and fifth-youngest player in NHL history to reach the 800-point milestone, achieving the feat in his 545th contest and at 26 years, 39 days, respectively. McDavid then registered 2-2—4 in each of his next to outings, a 7-2 triumph against the Pittsburgh Penguins Feb. 23 and a 6-5 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Feb. 25. The latter performance gave him a League-best 48-65—113 through 60 total contests in 2022-23, the most by an NHL player through 60 games in a season since 1995-96 (Mario Lemieux: 57-79—136 w/ PIT). McDavid, who already has captured two straight and four overall Art Ross Trophies and is seeking his first Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, also paces the League in goals (48), assists (65), power-play assists (37) and power-play points (54) this season.
SECOND STAR – LINUS ULLMARK, G, BOSTON BRUINS
Ullmark, who became the 13th different goaltender in NHL history – and first since Jan. 9, 2020 – to score a regular-season goal, went 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .966 save percentage to help the League-leading Bruins (45-8-5, 95 points) extend their winning streak to six games dating to Feb. 14. He yielded one goal in each of his two starts, making 30 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators Feb. 20 and 26 stops (as well as scoring the first goal by a Boston netminder) in a 3-1 triumph against the Vancouver Canucks Feb. 25. Ullmark also capped the week with his League-best 30th win of the season (37 GP), making him the second-fastest goaltender in NHL history to reach the milestone behind only fellow Bruin Tiny Thompson in 1929-30 (35 GP). The 29-year-old Ullmark, who has earned 56 victories in two seasons with Boston (78 GP) after totaling 50 wins through his first six NHL campaigns (117 GP), also tops the League in goals-against average (1.86) and save percentage (.938) in 2022-23.
THIRD STAR – JOHN GIBSON, G, ANAHEIM DUCKS
Gibson (2-0-1, 2.64 GAA, .947 SV%) made a League-best 143 saves – highlighted by a pair of 51-save performances – across three contests to guide the Ducks (19-34-7, 45 points) to a 2-1-1 week. He turned aside 51 of 55 shots, including 22 of 23 in the third period, in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers Feb. 20. Gibson followed that with 41 saves on 43 shots, capped by a flawless 16-save final frame, in a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals Feb. 23. He closed the week with another 51 stops, his third 50-save effort of February, in a 3-2 triumph against the No. 2 overall Carolina Hurricanes Feb. 25. The 29-year-old Gibson, who owns a 12-23-6 record in 41 total appearances this season (3.96 GAA, .902 SV%, 1 SO), paces the League 1,394 saves in 2022-23 – the most by an NHL goaltender through his first 41 games of a campaign since Jacques Plante in 1963-64 (1,442 SV w/ NYR).