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Kronwall earns NHL honor as 'Second Star'

Red Wings' defenseman collected six points in three-win span

Monday, 12.2.2013 / 1:57 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Kronwall earns NHL honor as \'Second Star\'

Niklas Kronwall
Defense  - DET
Goals: 3 | Assists: 18 | Pts: 21
Shots: 45 | +/-: 12
DETROITNiklas Kronwall is among the first defensemen recognized for his performance in a single seven-day span by the league this season when he and Chicago’s Duncan Keith were named second and third stars of the week, respectively, by the NHL on Monday.

Kronwall is off to the finest start of his 10-season career, leading the Red Wings’ defense with three goals and 21 points, which ties him for fourth with Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien among all league blue-liners.

For the second consecutive week, Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin was the league's top star, leading all skaters with nine points in four games.

Last week, Kronwall posted a trio of multi-point games with a goal and five assists in leading the Red Wings to three wins. He scored his third goal of the season – all of his goals have come on the power play – and added an assist in a 6-1 victory over Boston Bruins last Wednesday. Kronwall then posted a pair of two-assist games: in a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders last Friday and in a 4-2 victory at Ottawa on Sunday.

The 32-year-old has two goals and nine points during a six-game point streak dating to Nov. 21, including assists in five consecutive games. He missed two games in October with a concussion after a hard hit by Colorado’s Cody McLeod knock him out of the game in Denver on Oct. 18.

Since the Red Wings’ old guard of solid defensemen has departed, players like Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson have gained greater responsibility and leadership roles on the ice and in the team’s locker room. And it certainly hasn’t been easy this year amidst a slew of injuries along the blue line. Only Jakub Kindl and Kyle Quincey have appeared in all 28 games for the Red Wings, making it necessary for youngsters like Xavier Ouellet and Adam Almquist to make their NHL debuts.

“If you start being negative and you start feeling sorry for yourself, you're not really gaining anything,” Kronwall said last week. “All you're doing it digging the hole even deeper for yourself. In here, it's about trying to stay positive and think about the good things that we've been doing and really work on that and learn from the mistakes that we have been doing. Just stay positive and keep believing in the process."

Kronwall is the second Red Wings’ player so honored by the league this season. Backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson was named First Star for the week of Oct. 21. Gustavsson is now 7-0-1 with a 2.16 goals-against average, which ranks him No. 12 among league goalies with nine or more starts this season.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80