Pacific: Selanne continues climb up NHL scoring ranks

By Andrew Knoll

Photo: Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne moved past fellow countryman Jari Kurri to become the highest-scoring Finnish player in NHL history (courtesy of

Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI)

While the Anaheim Ducks seem headed for an early off-season, Ducks forward Teemu Selanne continues to produce points as he makes his way up the NHL’s all-time scoring ranks. Selanne’s milestone performances in the past week have earned him top billing in the Pacific Division three stars of the week for March 9-15.

First Star: Teemu Selanne, RW, Anaheim Ducks –
Selanne had two goals in three games and both of them were historic. His power-play marker in a Monday loss to Colorado put him in a tie for fourth place in career power play goals. It was also point No. 1399, which moved him ahead of Jari Kurri as the career leader in points by a Finnish-born player. In Anaheim’s next contest, a 4-0 defeat of Detroit Wednesday, Selanne scored the game-winner to record his 1400th career point. Selanne has been Anaheim’s most consistent performer this season. His campaigns of 31 and 23 goals in the past two seasons have been the most prolific for a player 40 and over not named Gordie Howe.

Second Star: Dustin Brown, LW, Los Angeles Kings
Brown turned in four points in three games to extend his point streak to nine games. He has 14 points during that stretch. He had ten hits against Detroit Tuesday, marking the second time he has had a double-digit hit game in his last four outings. The Kings captain has been a giving teammate, dishing out assists in his last five games and slowing his trigger after a hat trick ignited his current streak. He has also created turnovers, like the one that led to a shorthanded goal for Anze Kopitar Tuesday, and agitated with his physical play, goading the normally unflappable Henrik Zetterberg into a reckless interference penalty.

Third Star: Jeff Carter, RW, Los Angeles Kings
Carter put together a three-game point streak in which he scored five points in the past week. He had a dozen shots on goal in three games. His individual contributions have picked up but his presence has rounded out the Kings’ top six and power-play units in ways that cannot be readily quantified. Carter edged out San Jose center Logan Couture for the final spot this week. After being bottled up against Phoenix Saturday, Couture had a game-winning power-play goal at Edmonton Monday, both goals in a 3-2 overtime loss in Calgary and 14 shots on goal for the week.

Weekend Preview

The Phoenix Coyotes conclude their Western Canada swing Sunday at Edmonton. The Anaheim Ducks continue their do-or-die stretch run Friday when they will host their crosstown rival, the L.A. Kings, who have their own playoff hopes on the line. Anaheim will face the Nashville Predators Sunday to wrap up their three-game homestand. The Dallas Stars will kick off their own three-game set at home when they face Chicago Friday in their only game of the weekend. They hope to protect a paper-thin division lead that has them two points ahead of Phoenix and three points ahead of both Los Angeles and San Jose. The Sharks will get a visit from the rival Red Wings Saturday, who have lost five of their last six, including all three games on the road trip that will conclude in San Jose.

Pacific Division Notes

San Jose’s Martin Havlat returned to action for the first time since Dec. 17 in their home shootout win over Nashville 2-1 on Thursday. Havlat was a late addition to the lineup following the morning skate … Phoenix fell 4-1 in Calgary, although Ray Whitney extended his point streak to three games in which he has five assists … Dallas’s Steve Ott has eight goals in his last ten games against Chicago and his only goal in the past 13 games came in a Feb. 23 win over the Blackhawks … Los Angeles’ Simon Gagne has been skating hard but remains uncertain about a return this season … Anaheim’s Corey Perry will likely be a game-time decision against the Kings, he should be considered doubtful with a shoulder injury.