SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Karlsson week's best

Ottawa Senators Erik Karlsson is congratulated on his first period goal against the  Washington...

Ottawa Senators Erik Karlsson is congratulated on his first period goal against the Washington Capitals by teammates Jason Spezza, Bobby Butler, and Filip Kuba during NHL hockey action at Scotiabank Place, February 22, 2012. (ERROL MCGIHON/THE OTTAWA SUN/QMI AGENCY)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:06 PM ET

Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson's seven-game point streak helped him earn the nod as the NHL's first star of the week Monday.

In four games last week, Karlsson had four goals, including the winner against the New York Islanders Feb. 20, and eight assists. His two assists against the Islanders Sunday gave him 65 points, making him the highest-scoring defenceman in franchise history.

Forward Teddy Purcell of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen were named second and third star, respectively.

Purcell had three consecutive three-point games last week while Lehtonen won all three of his starts and posted his second shutout of the season in a win over the Montreal Canadiens.

BACKSTROM ON LTIR

The Washington Capitals cleared some cap space before the trade deadline by putting forward Nicklas Backstrom on long-term injured reserve.

Being moved to LTI may end Backstrom's regular season, although he could return for the playoffs if the Capitals qualify. He's been out since Jan. 3, when he was left with a concussion after taking an eblow to the head from Rene Bourque of the Calgary Flames.

In 38 games this season, Backstrom has 13 goals and 29 assists.

CONNOLLY STAYING

Junior-aged forward Brett Connolly will stay with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the rest of the season.

Connolly, who has just four goals and five assists in 48 games this season, was rumoured to be headed back to the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League before Monday's trade deadline, which would make him eligible for the WHL playoffs. But, instead, the Lightning opted to keep the rookie in Tampa.

"He's going to play," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said. "We've gone back and forth on whether to send him back to juniors to play or to keep him here and play, but you watch him the past few games, he's taking the regular shifts, playing on the power play, and with 20 more games in the regular season, he'll get more experience."

BRIEFLY

Boston Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk missed Monday's practice with post-concussion symptoms. Boychuk was laid out by Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil Saturday and probably won't play Tuesday against the Sens ... Carolina Hurricanes forward Patrick Dwyer will miss "a couple weeks" with a lower-body injury, according to GM Jim Rutherford. The Hurricanes called up Zach Boychuk from Charlotte of the AHL to take his spot ... The Calgary Flames re-signed fourth-line forward Tim Jackman, who was due to become an unrestricted free agent, to a two-year contract worth US$612,500 per season. Jackman, 30, has one goal and six assists to go with 77 penalty minutes this season ... Injured forward Jamie Benn could suit up for the Dallas Stars Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Benn has missed six games with a lacerated leg ... The trade of defenceman Mike Commodore to Tampa Bay opened the door for blueliner Brendan Smith. The Detroit Red Wings called Smith up from Grand Rapids of the AHL Monday ... Nashville called up defenceman Ryan Ellis from Milwaukee of the AHL. Ellis has three goals and six assists in 22 games with the Preds ... With some new bodies coming in via the trade route, the Boston Bruins sent Andrew Bodnarchuk, Carter Camper and Max Sauve to Providence of the AHL.


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