Antti Niemi Named NHL's First Star
Sharks Goalie Posted A .963 Save Percentage And One Shutout
|San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) blocks a shot from the Colorado Avalanche during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)|
Niemi posted a 3-0-0 record, 0.98 goals-against average, .963 save percentage and one shutout as the Sharks (33-21-6) climbed to fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
Niemi stopped 78 of 81 shots last week, beginning with a 30-save performance in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Nashville Predators Feb. 15. He recorded 23 saves in a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals Feb. 17 and stopped 25 shots for his fifth shutout of the season in a 4-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche Feb. 19.
Niemi improved his season record to 20-15-3 with a 2.43 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 39 appearances. The 27-year-old native of Vantaa, Finland has started each of the Sharks' past 15 games, posting an 11-2-1 record in that span.
|New Jersey Devils' Johan Hedberg (1) had 24 saves in the Devils 4-1 win on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)|
Hedberg posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.00 goals-against average, .956 save percentage and one shutout, helping the Devils (25-30-4) push their record over the second half of the season to an NHL-best 15-1-2.
Hedberg stopped 65 of 68 shots last week, beginning with a 25-save performance in a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Feb. 16. He recorded 16 saves in posting his second shutout of the season, a 1-0 win over the New York Rangers Feb. 19, and stopped 24 shots as the Devils defeated Carolina 4-1 on Feb. 19.
The 37-year-old native of Leksand, Sweden improved his season record to 12-10-2 with a 2.45 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and two shutouts in 29 appearances. He has won each of his six starts since Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur suffered a knee sprain Feb. 6 at Montreal.
|Edmonton Oilers' Ales Hemsky controls the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)|
Hemsky led all scorers last week with seven points (four goals, three assists) as the Oilers (19-32-8) posted three consecutive victories. Hemsky tallied multiple points in each game, beginning with one goal and one assist in a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars Feb. 15. He notched a pair of goals in a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens Feb. 17 and recorded a goal and two assists, all in the third period, in a 5-3 comeback win over the Atlanta Thrashers Feb. 19.
Playing in his ninth NHL season, all with the Oilers, the 27-year-old Pardubice, Czech Republic native leads the Oilers in scoring with 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists) in 42 games. He has 11 points in his past eight games (4-7--11) and is seven points shy of 400 for his career (113-280--393).