Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Fantasy Guru - Baseball

Ovechkin, Matthews and McDavid Named NHL ‘Three Stars’ of the Week

NEW YORK – Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 24.

FIRST STAR – ALEX OVECHKIN, LW, WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Ovechkin scored in all four of his outings, leading the NHL with seven total goals (7-1—8) to lift the Capitals (35-26-9, 79 points) into the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference via a 3-1-0 week. Ovechkin, who also paced the NHL with four power-play goals and shared the League lead with five power-play points (4-1—5), potted two tallies (including his 128th career game-winning goal) in a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames March 18 to become the sixth player in League history with at least 19 20-goal seasons (and the first to reach the milestone in each of his first 19 NHL campaigns). Ovechkin again scored twice in a 7-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs March 20 before posting 1-1—2 in a 7-6 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes March 22 to surpass Joe Thornton for 13th place on the League’s all-time points list. He finished the week with another two tallies (his 172nd career multi-goal game) in a 3-0 triumph versus the Winnipeg Jets March 24 to become the third player in NHL history with at least 18 25-goal seasons, joining Gordie Howe (20x) and Jaromir Jagr (18x). The Washington captain has scored in each of his past five contests dating to March 16 (8-1—9), making him – at 38 years, 189 days – the fourth-oldest player in League history to record a five-game goal streak, behind only Brett Hull (7 GP: 39 years, 121 days in 2003-04 w/ DET), Johnny Bucyk (6 GP: 39 years, 221 days in 1974-75 w/ BOS) and Joe Pavelski (5 GP: 38 years, 269 days in 2022-23 w/ DAL). Ovechkin, who has 18 goals in his past 24 appearances dating to Jan. 27 (tied for third in the NHL) after scoring just eight times in his first 43 games of the season, tops Washington with 26-32—58 through 67 total outings in 2023-24.

SECOND STAR – AUSTON MATTHEWS, C, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Matthews ranked second in the NHL with 3-7—10 in four contests to help the Maple Leafs (40‑21-9, 89 points) earn a pair of wins to maintain third place in the Atlantic Division. He collected two assists in a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers March 19. Matthews then registered his second career five-point performance (also Feb. 17 vs. ANA: 3-2—5), compiling 2-3—5 in a 7-3 triumph over the Washington Capitals March 20. He became the sixth different player in franchise history with multiple five-point efforts in a single season (and first since Rick Vaive in 1981-82) as well as the first player on any team with at least 16 multi-goal efforts in a campaign since 1992-93 (Alexander Mogilny: 24 in 77 GP w/ BUF, Mario Lemieux: 17 in 60 GP w/ PIT, Pavel Bure: 17 in 83 GP w/ VAN and Teemu Selanne: 17 in 84 GP w/ WIN). Matthews added 1‑1—2 in a 6-3 victory against the Edmonton Oilers March 23 to reach the 90-point milestone for the second time (also 2021-22: 60-46—106 in 73 GP) before closing the week with an assist on Toronto’s lone goal in a 2-1 defeat versus the Carolina Hurricanes March 24. The 26-year-old Matthews, who already owns two Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies (2021-22 and 2020-21), tops the NHL with 58 goals – eight more than the next-closest players – through 69 total appearances this season (58-34—92). He also places among the 2023-24 leaders in takeaways (3rd; 73), power-play goals (t-3rd; 15), shots on goal (4th; 296), points (8th; 92), game-winning goals (t-8th; 8), shooting percentage (9th; 19.6% – minimum: 1 SOG/GP) and plus/minus (t-10th; +28).

THIRD STAR – CONNOR McDAVID, C, EDMONTON OILERS

McDavid led the NHL with 10 assists and 11 points (1-10—11) as the Oilers (42-23-4, 88 points) split their four games. He notched 1-1—2, including the primary assist on Leon Draisaitl’s overtime winner, in a 3-2 victory against the Montreal Canadiens March 19. McDavid then registered four helpers in an 8-3 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres March 21 to become the fourth player in League history with at least five four-assist performances in a single campaign, following Wayne Gretzky (8x), Mario Lemieux (2x) and Paul Coffey (1x). McDavid assisted on all three Edmonton goals in a 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs March 23 before recording two more helpers in a 5-3 defeat versus the Ottawa Senators March 24 as he became the first NHL player to reach the 90-assist milestone in a season since Joe Thornton in 2006-07 (92 in 82 GP w/ SJS). The 27-year-old McDavid, who is on pace to become the fourth different player with 100 assists in a campaign and first since Gretzky in 1990-91 (122 in 78 GP w/ LAK), sits third in the League with 26-91—117 through 67 total contests in 2023-24. He also ranks among this season’s top performers in power-play assists (t-1st; 33), power-play points (t-3rd; 39) and plus/minus (9th; +29).

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