Gustavsson is NHL's First Star of the week
Backup goalie led Red Wings to three straight weeks
DETROIT – Jonas Gustavsson has been recognized by the NHL as the league’s First Star for his tremendous three-win effort last week.
“It’s awesome to see,” Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “He comes in that first game, probably got the note five minutes before the game that he’s going in there. He played really good, really aggressive, played with a lot of confidence and kept going. He probably stole those two points in Colorado.”
Gustavsson was pressed into service after starter Jimmy Howard injured his left catching hand against Philadelphia on Oct. 12.
Making his first three appearances of the season, Gustavsson posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.67 goals-against average and .953 save percentage in helping the Red Wings move into first place in the Atlantic Division.
“I thought he played good,” wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s important for us to have two good goaltenders and obviously we know what Howie’s capable of. He gave us a chance to win every night. You got to give him credit.”
Gustavsson recorded victories on consecutive days for the first time since Jan. 23-24, 2012, posting 28 saves in a 3-2 win at Boston, and then he made 36 stops in a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets the next night.
Gustavsson then handed Colorado its first loss of the season, making 38 saves in a 4-2 victory last Thursday.
The 28-year-old Swede, has played in 117 games during his five-season NHL career, compiling a 44-47-16 record with a 2.94 goals-against average, .901 save percentage and five shutouts.
“It’s important for the team to know (he’s reliable), it’s important for him to know,” Babcock said. “It was real positive for us. We won three games with him in net. We feel good about it.”
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby was named this week’s Second Star, while San Jose forward Patrick Marleau earned the Third Star.