NHL Stars of the Week


Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, and New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov have been named the NHL Stars of the Week for the week ending April 3.


McDavid shared the League lead with 5-3—8 in four games, highlighted by reaching the 100-point milestone for the fifth time in seven NHL seasons, as the Oilers (40-25-5, 85 points) completed a perfect week to move within one point of second place in the Pacific Division. He scored once in a 6-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes March 28. McDavid then registered 1-1—2 to hit the 100-point mark – making him the sixth player in League history to compile five 100-point seasons before age 26 – and potted the clinching goal in the shootout as part of a 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings March 30. He capped the week with consecutive winning goals, tallying twice – including his franchise-record 12th career overtime goal – in a 6-5 triumph over the St. Louis Blues April 1 and adding 1-2—3 – his ninth three-point performance of the season – in a 6-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks April 3. The three-time Art Ross Trophy winner – who has 11-15—26 during a 13-game point streak dating to March 9 – paces the NHL with 40-65—105 in 69 total appearances this season, also ranking among the top producers in power-play points (1st; 39), assists (2nd; 65), power-play assists (2nd; 30), shots on goal (5th; 278), game-winning goals (t-5th; 8) and goals (6th; 40).


Barkov recorded two points in all four of his contests, matching McDavid for the League lead in goals and points (5-3—8) as the Panthers (48-15-6, 102 points) also posted a perfect week to clinch the first berth in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He collected 1-1—2 in a 7-4 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens March 29. Barkov then scored twice in each of his next two outings, a 4-0 victory (featuring his franchise-record 37th game-winning goal) against the Chicago Blackhawks March 31 and a 7-6 overtime win versus the New Jersey Devils April 2 during which he found the back of the net twice in the final five minutes of regulation to help Florida overcome a four-goal, third-period deficit. He finished the week with two assists in a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres April 3 as the Panthers clinched a playoff berth for the third consecutive year, a first in franchise history. The 26-year-old captain has accumulated 33-39—72 in 56 total outings this season, sitting among the League leaders in shorthanded goals (t-1st; 4), points per game (9th; 1.29), plus/minus (t-11th; +31), goals (14th; 33), points (19th; 72) and shooting percentage (23rd; 18.0%).


Varlamov stopped 99 of the 104 shots he faced, going 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average, .952 save percentage and one shutout to also guide the Islanders (32-27-9, 73 points) to a perfect four-game week. He helped New York sweep its home-and-home series with the Columbus Blue Jackets, making 42 saves in a 4-3 win March 29 and denying 30 shots in a 5-2 triumph March 31. Varlamov then earned his 36th career shutout – and fourth straight at Madison Square Garden – with 27 saves in a 3-0 victory over the New York Rangers April 1. The 33-year-old veteran of 14 NHL seasons has played in 26 total contests in 2021-22, compiling a 9-13-2 record, 2.73 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and two shutouts.