NHL News: Lightning’s Stamkos, Oilers’ Smith and Blues’ Tarasenko Named NHL ‘Three Stars’ for April 2022

April 30, 2022

Stars of the Month, Stamkos, Smith, Tarasenko

NEW YORK (April 30, 2022) – Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos, Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith and St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of April.


Stamkos led the NHL with 12-21—33 in 16 games – a franchise record for points in a calendar month and the most by any player since Mario Lemieux in December 1995 (12-22—34 in 14 GP w/ PIT) – to power the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning (51-23-8, 110 points) to a 9-5-2 April and their fifth straight postseason berth. Stamkos found the scoresheet in 14 of his 16 appearances, highlighted by a streak of nine consecutive multi-point performances to finish the season (10-16—26) – another Tampa Bay record and the longest such run by any player since Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96 (10 GP w/ PIT). Stamkos’ stretch included five straight games with at least three points (April 19-26: 6-11—17), a first by any NHLer since Jari Kurri in 1992-93 (6 GP w/ LAK). It also saw the Lightning captain overtake Martin St. Louis for the most points in franchise history, hit the 100-point milestone for the first time and cap the regular season with a hat trick (April 29 at NYI) as he reached the 40-goal milestone for a sixth time (and first since 2018-19). The 14-season veteran – who scored three game-winning goals during the month (April 16 vs. WPG, April 26 vs. CBJ and April 29 at NYI) – played in 81 total contests in 2021-22, ranking among the League leaders in game-winning goals (t-1st; 11), power-play goals (t-3rd; 16), points (7th; 106), power-play points (8th; 36), assists (9th; 64) and goals (t-9th; 42).


Smith earned a League-best nine wins in nine starts, compiling a 1.66 goals-against average, .951 save percentage and two shutouts – as well as the primary assist on an overtime goal (April 5 at SJS) – to propel the Oilers (49-27-6, 104 points) to an 11-2-1 month and their third consecutive playoff berth. The 16-season veteran – who turned 40 in March – became the second goaltender in League history to post a nine-game winning streak at age 40 or older, following Jacques Plante in 1970-71 (9‑0‑0 w/ TOR). He did so by making at least 30 saves in every contest and yielding two or fewer goals seven times, including back-to-back shutouts April 14 at NSH (30 SV) and April 16 vs. VGK (39 SV). Smith, who was 7-9-2 in 19 games entering April (3.41 GAA, .896 SV%, 0 SO), finished the season with a 16-9-2 record, 2.81 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and two shutouts in 28 total outings.


Tarasenko topped the NHL with four game-winning goals, totaling 11-13—24 across 16 contests to lift the Blues (49-22-11, 109 points) to a 12-2-2 April and their 45th playoff berth – the most among non-Original Six franchises and second-most among all teams since they entered the League in 1967-68. Tarasenko collected points in 12 of his 16 appearances, highlighted by a 10-game streak from April 8-24 (9-12—21) during which he produced six multi-point outings, three straight decisive goals (April 9-14) and a single-game high of 3-2—5 (including his fifth career hat trick and 30th goal of the season) April 14 at BUF. The 10-season veteran led St. Louis with a career-best 82 points in 2021-22 (34-48—82 in 75 GP), also setting personal highs with 48 assists and nine game-winning goals – the latter tied for sixth place in the NHL.


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