Vanek highlights NHL's 'Three Stars'
NEW YORK -- Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier and Anaheim Ducks goaltender Dan Ellis have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the final week of the regular season.
Vanek was named the First Star after posting three consecutive three-point games, helping the Sabres clinch a playoff berth for the second year in a row.
He posted his first hat trick of the season and seventh of his career in a 4-2 decision over the Lightning on April 5, then notched two assists and the game-winning overtime goal in a 4-3 victory against Philadelphia this past Friday.
The Austrian native completed his sixth NHL season with team-highs of 32 goals, 41 assists and 73 points in 80 games.
Lecavalier took home the Second Star by finishing the week with four goals and one assist in three contests. His two goals helped the Bolts take a 4-2 decision over Florida on Friday, then he added a goal and one assist in Tampa's 6-2 victory at Carolina on Saturday.
A native of suburban Montreal, the 30-year-old ended his 12th pro campaign with 25 goals and 54 points in 65 games.
Ellis gained the Third Star by going 2-0-0 with a 1.21 goals-against average in three games to help Anaheim secure a playoff berth. The Ontario native stopped 83 of 85 shots last week, improving to 8-3-1 in 13 games with the Ducks after being acquired from Tampa Bay in late February.