NEW YORK (April 2, 2012) – Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara
and Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending April 1.
FIRST STAR – WAYNE SIMMONDS, RW, PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Simmonds scored in four straight games, totaling five goals and one assist as the Flyers (46-24-9, 101 points) moved within one point of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the fourth seed, and home-ice advantage, in the Eastern Conference. He scored once in a 5-3 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning March 26, recorded two goals and an assist in a 7-1 victory at the Toronto Maple Leafs March 29, deflected a shot in off his face in a 4-3 shootout loss against the Ottawa Senators March 31 and closed the week with a goal in a 6-4 triumph at the Pittsburgh Penguins April 1. In his first season with the Flyers, the 23-year-old has established career highs in goals (27) and points (48) in 79 games.
SECOND STAR – ZDENO CHARA
, D, BOSTON BRUINS
Chara tied for League lead with seven assists as the Bruins (47-28-4, 98 points) earned seven out of eight points to clinch their third Northeast Division title in the last four seasons and the second seed in the Eastern Conference. He collected three assists in a 5-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning March 27, one helper in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Washington Capitals March 29, two assists in a 6-3 win at the New York Islanders March 31 and his 40th assist of the season in a 2-1 victory at the New York Rangers April 1. The 2008-09 James Norris Memorial Trophy winner has 12-40—52 in 77 games, and has established career highs in assists and points.
THIRD STAR – MIKE SMITH, G, PHOENIX COYOTES
Smith posted two shutouts in two starts as the Coyotes (39-27-13, 91 points) won both of their games to remain in the hunt for the Pacific Division title. He stopped 38 shots in a 2-0 victory against the San Jose Sharks March 29 and made 44 saves in a 4-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks March 31. Smith hasn’t allowed a goal in 139:59 dating to March 24. The 30-year-old is 35-18-10 with a 2.29 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and seven shutouts in 64 appearances, and has established career highs in wins, shutouts and games played.