The Red Wings played four games from December 31st to January 7th and came away with six standings points due to wins over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers, while they dropped a 5-2 decision at home to the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning. Over those four games, these players have been named Blue HQ Media’s three stars:
Third star- Jimmy Howard
Howard made three appearances last week between the pipes but missed Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay due to an injury he incurred against Florida. All reports indicate he will be available for the upcoming weekend games, which is great news because he has been lights-out as of late. In those three appearances, he allowed four goals in 112 shots for a .964 save percentage; including a performance where he held the Penguins to only one goal on 38 shots.
Second star- Gustav Nyquist
Nyquist potted two goals in last Sunday’s 4-1 victory over Pittsburgh, and added another goal Friday in the 4-2 victory over Florida. Nyquist also found the net during Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay. Centered by Henrik Zetterberg, the top line has really been clicking as of late with the addition of Tyler Bertuzzi from the AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins. Nyquist is now tied for the team lead in goals (14) and is fifth in points (22).
First star- Andreas Athanasiou
Athanasiou has been soaring since finding what is hopefully a permanent home on the second line, centered by the Red Wings’ points and assists leader Dylan Larkin. Athanasiou scored both of the team’s goals during the 2-1 victory in Ottawa, including the thrilling game-winner only six seconds into overtime, a play in which he blew past perennial Norris Trophy candidate Erik Karlsson. He followed up that performance by scoring another goal 42 seconds into the next game. Over last week’s four games, Athanasiou posted three goals, one assist and a +3 rating. His nine goals rank fifth on the team despite missing the first 10 games of the season due to a contract dispute.
Honorable mention- Henrik Zetterberg
The captain notched four assists last week, all on goals by his linemate Nyquist. Zetterberg is second on the team in both assists (23) and points (29).
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