The NHL announced on Saturday morning that Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been named the first star of the week. Ovechkin was also named first star of the week for last week. Alexandar Georgiev was named the second star and Elias Pettersson was named the third star for this week.
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FIRST STAR – ALEX OVECHKIN, LW, WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Ovechkin registered 2-4—6 in three games to propel the Capitals (19-13-4, 32 points) to a perfect week and pass Gordie Howe for second on the NHL’s all-time goals list. He opened the week with an assist on the Washington marker that kick-started a multi-goal comeback in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 19 and added another pair of helpers in a 3-2 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators Dec. 22.
Ovechkin capped the week by creating a historic night at Capital One Arena in Washington, recording 2-1—3 in a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets that included goal No. 801 with 1:38 remaining in the first period to tie Howe and goal No. 802 into an empty net with 60 seconds remaining in the final frame to surpass ‘Mr. Hockey” for the second-most goals in NHL history.
Ovechkin (22-19—41 in 36 GP), who leads all Capitals skaters and ranks seventh in the NHL with 22 goals in 2022-23, is on pace for his 10th career 50-goal season and now sits 93 tallies shy of breaking Wayne Gretzky’s recordfor the most goals in NHL history.
SECOND STAR – ALEXANDAR GEORGIEV, G, COLORADO AVALANCHE
Georgiev led the NHL in wins (3) – all of which required extra time – while stopping 82 of the 85 shots he faced to post a 3-0-0 record for the week (0.94 GAA, .965 SV%, 1 SO) and help the Avalanche (19-11-2, 40 points) move into third place in the Central Division. He opened the week by stopping all 26 shots he faced to record his 10th career shutout in a 1-0 shootout win over the New York Islanders Dec. 19. Georgiev then made 19 saves in a 2-1 overtime triumph over the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 21 followed by a 37-save performance in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Nashville Predators Dec. 23. The 26-year-old Georgiev, who was acquired by Colorado in a trade prior to the 2022-23 campaign, ranks among the top-10 goaltenders this season in wins (15; t-5th), goals-against average (2.36; 6th) and save percentage (.925; 6th).
THIRD STAR – ELIAS PETTERSSON, C, VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Pettersson tied for the League lead in assists and points with 2-5—7 in two games to help lift theCanucks (15-15-3, 33 points) to a 2-1-0 week. Pettersson did not play in Vancouver’s 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues Dec. 19 due to illness. He returned to the lineup with 2-3—5, including three points in the third period capped by a game-tying goal with 1:20 remaining in regulation, in an eventual 6-5 shootout win over the Seattle Kraken Dec. 22. It marked the fourth time Pettersson recorded five or more points in a game, breaking a tie with Alexander Mogilny (3x) for the most five-point outings in franchise history. He closed the week with two assists in a 5-2 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers Dec. 23. The 24-year-old forward leads all Canucks skaters in 2022-23 with 15-26—41 in 31 games which includes a team-high 13 multi-point performances.