NEW YORK – Vegas Golden Knights left wing Max Pacioretty, Ottawa Senators left wing Anthony Duclair and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec 15.
FIRST STAR – MAX PACIORETTY, LW, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Pacioretty led all skaters with 5-3—8 in four contests to help the Golden Knights (18-13-5, 41 points) win three of four contests to move into second place in the Pacific Division and one point back of the Arizona Coyotes (19-12-4, 42 points) for first. Pacioretty, who has scored a goal in each of his last four appearances, opened the week with one goal in a 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Dec. 10 and then scored another goal in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues Dec. 12. He then registered back-to-back multi-point performances with 1-1—2, including the overtime winner, in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars Dec. 13 and a season-high four points (2-2—4) in a 6-3 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks Dec. 15. The 31-year-old New Canaan, Conn., native is in his second campaign with the Golden Knights and leads all Vegas skaters in goals (15), assists (19) and points (34) in 2019-20.
SECOND STAR – ANTHONY DUCLAIR, LW, OTTAWA SENATORS
Duclair tied for the League lead with five goals, including a pair of multi-goal outings, totaling 5-1—6 across three games to help the Senators (14-17-2, 30 points) capture five of a possible six standings points. Duclair opened the week with 2-1—3 in a 5-2 victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins Dec. 9 and then was held without a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 11. He closed the week by capping his third career hat trick with the overtime winner in a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Dec. 14. A 24-year-old native of Pointe-Claire, Que., Duclair leads all Senators skaters and ranks tied for ninth in the NHL with 18 goals this season (33 GP) – two shy of his career high set in 2015-16 (20 G in 81 GP). Since being acquired by Ottawa in a trade on Feb. 23, Duclair has registered 26-13—39 in 55 games – only nine players in the League have scored more regular-season goals over that timeframe.
THIRD STAR – JACK EICHEL, C, BUFFALO SABRES
Eichel recorded multiple points in each of his three appearances last week and tied for the League lead with five goals (5-1—6 in 3 GP) to help the Sabres (16-11-7, 39 points) gain five of a possible six standings points and move into second place in the Atlantic Division. Eichel opened the week with consecutive two-goal games, netting 2-0—2 including the game-winning tally in a 5-2 victory over the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues Dec. 10 and then another pair of goals in a 4-3 triumph over the Nashville Predators Dec. 12. He capped the week with 1-1—2 in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders Dec. 14 to extend his point streak to 16 games (15-14—29 in 16 GP) – the longest by any player this season and longest by a Sabres skater since Tim Connolly in 2009-10 (16 GP). A 23-year-old native of North Chelmsford, Mass., Eichel ranks among the top ten this season in goals (2nd; 23), assists (9th; 25) and points (t-5th; 48).