The NHL announced this morning that goaltender Niklas Backstrom and forwards Alexander Ovechkin and Nazem Kadri were selected as the league’s three stars of the week ending March 24th.
In three games played last week, Backstrom notched a 3-0-0 record with a 1.00 goals against average, a .972 save percentage and a shutout against a tough San Jose Sharks squad. Backstrom’s incredibly play in those games helped extend Minnesota’s winning streak to five and breaking Minnesota’s winless streak in both Vancouver and Detroit. Backstrom’s 16-7-2 record, 2.23 goals against average and .921 save percentage have him on the verge of Vezina contention and his win total is second in the NHL this year.
Tonight, the Minnesota Wild will ride the hot hand of Backstrom as they look to break their third winless streak in less than two weeks when they take on the captain-less Stars tonight in Dallas. With the Stars barely in the West’s top eight teams, and their captain traded to Pittsburgh, there is no better time than now for the red hot Minnesota Wild to break their 10 year winless streak in Dallas. Even with Minnesota’s offense coming alive, and the team’s solid defensive play, Backstrom will be tested hard and often by Dallas’ sharp shooters. However, Minnesota fans shouldn’t worry; the best goaltender in Minnesota Wild franchise history—and current NHL Second Star of the Week—is more than up for the challenge.
Gone Puck Wild Staff Writer Scott Drain will have tonight’s game preview up shortly. In other news, if you haven’t filled out your NCAA Frozen Four bracket, you’re missing out. To fill out your bracket for a chance to win some pretty cool prizes, click here. My pick? Quinnipiac beats my Minnesota Gophers on the back of No. 1 goalie Eric Hartzell. I’m calling it. Who do you choose?