NEW YORK — Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk and New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 23.
FIRST STAR – RASMUS DAHLIN, D, BUFFALO SABRES
Dahlin (3-2–5 in 3 games) topped the scoring list for defensemen last week with 3-2–5, highlighted by a record-setting goal streak, as the Sabres improved to 4-1-0 on the season by sweeping a three-game road trip to Western Canada. The 22-year-old also posted a cumulative +5 rating and logged an average of 24:02 in ice time per game. Dahlin kickstarted the road trip by opening the scoring in a 4-2 win at Edmonton Oct. 18, becoming the first defenseman to post a season-opening goal streak of three games since Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman in 2014-15. Two nights later in Calgary, Dahlin made history as the first NHL defenseman to score in each of his first four games of a campaign, notching a goal and an assist in a 6-3 victory over the Flames Oct. 20. He finished the week by extending his NHL record for defensemen to a fifth game (1-1–2) in a 5-1 win at Vancouver Oct. 22, also setting a franchise record for longest goal streak by a defenseman at any point in a campaign and becoming the first Sabres skater with a five-game run since Thomas Vanek over 14 years ago (5 GP from Oct. 10-18, 2008). Skating in his fifth season with the Sabres, the first overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft leads NHL defensemen in goals (five), points (eight) and plus-minus (tie, +8) this season.
SECOND STAR — BRADY TKACHUK, LW, OTTAWA SENATORS
Tkachuk recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) last week, with multiple points in all three outings, as the Senators won the first three games of a five-game homestand. The Ottawa captain began the week tallying a goal and two assists in the team’s home opener, a 7-5 victory over the Boston Bruins on Oct. 18. Tkachuk’s goal 3:09 into the game came shortly after new teammate Claude Giroux had opened the scoring at 1:04, marking the fastest two goals to start a home opener in Senators history. Tkachuk notched a pair of assists and a game-high eight shots in a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals Oct. 20 and scored a pair of goals in a 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes Oct. 22. His first goal proved to be the game winner and his second marked the 200th point of his NHL career (94-106–200 in 282 games). Selected minutes after Dahlin in the 2018 NHL Draft (fourth overall), Tkachuk is skating in his fifth NHL season with the Senators and second as captain.
THIRD STAR – MACKENZIE BLACKWOOD, G, NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Blackwood won three games in as many starts for New Jersey, posting a 1.33 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. He began the week backstopping the Devils to their first win of the 2022-23 regular season, making 18 saves in a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Prudential Center on Oct. 18. He then helped the Devils record their first-ever win at UBS Arena on Long Island, stopping 16 shots in a 4-1 victory against the New York Islanders Oct. 20. He posted his third consecutive win by turning aside 21 of 22 shots in a 2-1 home decision over the San Jose Sharks Oct. 22. Blackwood, 25, was a second-round pick, 42nd overall, by the Devils in the 2015 NHL Draft and is playing in his fifth NHL season, He improved his career record to 58-52-16 in 134 appearances with a 2.91 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.
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