Kopitar leads 3 Stars of the Week

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NEW YORK – Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 17.

 

FIRST STAR – ANZE KOPITAR, C, LOS ANGELES KINGS

Kopitar tallied a League-leading seven points (four goals, three assists) in two games last week, helping the Kings split a pair of contests. He opened the campaign with a record-setting performance Thursday, scoring his fifth NHL hat trick and matching his single-game career high with five points as the Kings defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 6-2 at STAPLES Center. He recorded the most points by a King on opening night in franchise history; became the third player in franchise history with a hat trick in a season-opening game, joining Luc Robitaille (Oct. 6, 1988) and Jari Kurri (Oct. 4, 1991); and, at 34 years and 51 days, became the oldest player in League history with five points in a season opener. He eclipsed the previous mark set by Phil Esposito (31 years, 232 days) on Oct. 10, 1973 (w/ BOS). The Kings captain completed the week by figuring in both of his team’s goals (one goal, one assist) in a 3-2 home loss to Minnesota Saturday.

The 34-year-old Jesenice, Slovenia, native was the Kings’ top pick, 11th overall, in the 2005 NHL Draft and is skating in his 16th season with the club. Kopitar led the Kings in scoring in 2020-21 (13-37-50 in 56 GP), topping the club for the 13th time in the past 14 seasons. He ranks among the franchise’s top five all-time in games (2nd, 1,131); goals (4th, 350); assists (3rd, 657); points (4th, 1,007) and game-winning goals (3rd, 57).

Video: VGK@LAK: Kopitar nets 3 goals against Golden Knights

 

SECOND STAR – ALEX OVECHKIN, LW, WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Ovechkin notched 3-2-5 in two games as the Capitals opened the season earning three of a possible four points (1-0-1). The Washington captain began his 17th NHL season with 2-2-4 in a 5-1 opening-night victory over the New York Rangers Wednesday. The goals were the 731st and 732nd of his career, moving him past Marcel Dionne (731) into sole possession of fifth place on the NHL’s all-time goals list. Ovechkin improved his career totals to 13-11-24 in his 17 season-opening games, the most such goals and points among active players. He also became the fourth player in NHL history to record at least 150 career multi-goal games, joining Wayne Gretzky (189), Brett Hull (158) and Mario Lemieux (154). Three nights later, Ovechkin accounted for Washington’s lone tally – no. 733 – in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Lightning Saturday. The 36-year-old Moscow native moved within eight of matching Brett Hull (741) for fourth place on the League’s all-time list.

 

THIRD STAR – STEVEN STAMKOS, C, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Stamkos matched Kopitar’s seven-point output in three games (3-4-7), helping the Lightning begin the defense of their back-to-back Stanley Cup titles with a 2-1-0 record. The Tampa Bay captain began his 14th NHL season by notching an assist on both Lightning goals in a 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday, followed by a two-goal, one-assist effort in a 7-6 come-from-behind overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings Thursday. All three points came after the Red Wings had built a 4-1 lead, including a pair of goals 1:12 apart late in the second period. Stamkos closed the week by recording the overtime winner and one assist in a 2-1 victory over the Capitals Saturday. The 31-year-old Markham, Ont., native is the franchise’s all-time goal-scoring leader (442) and ranks third all-time in games (844), assists (431) and points (873). His next point will tie Vincent Lecavalier (383-491-874) for second place on the Lightning’s all-time list.

Video: TBL@WSH: Stamkos wins game in OT

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