Washington Capitals\' Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, shoots the puck against the Florida Panthers in the first period of a hockey game in Sunrise, Fla., Friday, Feb. 15, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Alan Diaz
NEW YORK - Alex Ovechkin's magical week made him the automatic choice for the NHL's first star.
The Washington Capitals superstar winger reached the 50-goal plateau for the second time in three seasons during a five-point effort last Monday night in a 10-2 romp over the Boston Bruins. Ovechkin recorded his 50th, 51st and 52nd goals of the season that night and also added No. 53 and No. 54 in a 3-1 win at Buffalo on Wednesday.
It's the fourth time this season Ovechkin has been recognized by the NHL, having also been the first star Dec. 24, the second star Jan. 28 and third star Oct. 29.
Goalie Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils was the second star this past week, the veteran going 3-0-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average and .972 save percentage.
Centre Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks was the third star, putting up seven points (2-5) and a plus-5 rating in four games for the red-hot Sharks - winners of nine straight.