Vanek named NHL’s first star of the week
After scoring 10 points in four games and rocketing atop the league’s scoring leaderboard, Thomas Vanek was named the NHL’s first star of the week on Monday.
The 29-year-old Austrian was en fuego over the last seven days. He notched an assists in a 4-3 OT loss to Toronto, then followed that up with a three-goal, two-assists performance in a statement win over the Bruins.
That was followed by a one-goal effort in Montreal on Saturday and a three-point effort in Florida on Sunday.
Vanek now leads the NHL in scoring -- 19 points, three clear of second-place Steve Stamkos -- and, of note, has two of the three five-point games in the league thus far (the other was recorded by Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg.)
Second star went to Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz, thanks in large part to a pair of game-winning goals and the first four-goal game of his career in Sunday’s 6-3 win over Washington.
Kunitz now leads the Pens in goals (six) and is coming off a career-high 26 goals in 2011-12.
Third star of the week went to Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, who has seemingly wrestled back the No. 1 gig from Cory Schneider.
Luongo went 2-0-1 while posting 0.95 GAA and .963 save percentage, helping the Canucks move to 4-2-2 on the season and atop the Northwest Division. Luongo’s hot streak also included a 24-save shutout over Colorado, the 61st shutout of his career, moving him to within one of Turk Broda for 15th all-time.