Dallas Stars: Max Pacioretty

Masterton Trophy Finalists

April, 24, 2012
The NHL has announced the finalists for the Masterton Trophy, which goes to the player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." This year's finalists are Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson, Toronto's Joffrey Lupul and Montreal's Max Pacioretty.

One player is nominated from each NHL team. Kari Lehtonen was the Stars' nominee.

Here's the NHL release on the three finalists:
Right wing Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators, left wing Joffrey Lupul of the Toronto Maple Leafs and left wing Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens are the three finalists for the 2011-12 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey,” the National Hockey League announced today.

A $2,500 grant from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

The local chapters of the PHWA submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season and the top three vote-getters were designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2012 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2012 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBC Sports Network in the United States and CBC in Canada.

Following are the finalists for the Masterton Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators

The NHL’s longest-serving captain (1999-2000), Alfredsson returned from off-season back surgery for his 16th NHL campaign and was a key contributor to the Senators’ successful Stanley Cup Playoff drive.
Alfredsson was the leading vote-getter among NHL forwards in All-Star balloting, selected by his peers as an All-Star captain and the recipient of a thunderous standing ovation from hometown fans at Scotiabank Place following his two-goal outburst against Team Chara. Alfredsson finished the season with 59 points—27 goals, including the 400th regular-season goal of his career, and 32 assists.

Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs

Returning to health after his career had been threatened in 2010 by two back surgeries and a blood infection, Lupul earned a spot on the Maple Leafs’ top line and enjoyed the most productive season of his eight-year NHL career. Teaming with wing Phil Kessel to form the highest-scoring duo in the NHL, Lupul did not go more than one game without a point until January and was selected as assistant captain for Team Chara at the NHL All-Star Game. He notched a career-high 67 points in 66 games before a shoulder injury ended his season in early March.

Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

Pacioretty returned to action this season after missing the team’s last 15 regular-season games and the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2010-11 due to injuries suffered on March 8, 2011 against Boston. The 23-year-old left wing set single-season career highs in goals (33), assists (32), points (65), game-winning goals (five) and shots on goal (286). His 29 even-strength goals ranked fourth in the League. On March 8 at Edmonton, the New Canaan, Connecticut native became the first U.S.-born player in Canadiens history to notch 30 goals in a season.

Stars-Canadiens Preview

February, 20, 2012
Dallas Stars at Montreal Canadiens
Tuesday February 21
6:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (29-26-4) lost 3-2 to Nashville at American Airlines Center Sunday. The Stars, who are three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, have just one win in their last six games (1-3-2).

“We’ve got to get some kind of consistency with winning and I think that point is probably right now,” said Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski. “You say it’s the Phoenix game and after that game you say, maybe it’s this one, but it’s probably right now. Your desperation has to be as high as it’s going to get.”

Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for the Stars Tuesday.

Injuries: D Sheldon Souray is doubtful. C Jamie Benn (leg) and LW Brenden Morrow (neck/shoulder) are out.

About the Canadiens

The Canadiens (24-26-10) are coming off a 3-1 home loss to New Jersey on Sunday. A victory would have moved the Canadiens to within four points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

“We all know how important these games are, especially tonight when we had a chance to make up some ground,” Habs forward Max Pacioretty said. “It’s frustrating that, myself included, we came out the wrong way. If we’d played like we did in the third period, we would have had better results.”

Montreal fell to 2-4-1 in its last seven home games.

Injuries: RW Brian Gionta (biceps), D Andrei Markov (knee), LW Travis Moen (upper body), C Petteri Nokelainen (leg) and RW Mike Blunden (knee) are out.

Series notes

*This is the first and only meeting between the two teams this season.

*The Stars won last season’s only meeting, defeating the Canadiens 5-2 in Dallas.

*The Stars are 31-70-21 all-time against Montreal.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 4-5-2 since the All-Star break.

*The Canadiens are 5-5-1 since the break.

*The Stars are 7-6-2 vs. the Eastern Conference this season.

*The Canadiens are 4-5-4 vs. the Western Conference.

*The Stars have scored two goals or fewer in 14 of their 17 games. Excluding goals awarded for shootout wins, they have 32 goals during that stretch for an average of 1.88 per game.

*The Canadiens have allowed three goals or more in nine of their last 14 games.

*The Stars are 16-22 (72.7%) on the penalty kill over the last seven games.

*Montreal is 7-24 (29.2%) on the power play over the last eight games.

*Stars forward Michael Ryder has 4 goals during a six-game points streak.

*Montreal forward Max Pacioretty has 6 goals during a six-game points streak.