After playing a critical role in the Minnesota Wild's sweep of western Canada last week, Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk was named the National Hockey League's Third Star Monday.
Dubnyk, who went 3-0-0 in road starts at Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver last week, earned the award after stopping 88 of 91 shots he faced during the three game stretch – all three Wild wins.
Dubnyk stopped 23 shots in Minnesota's 2-1 victory over the Oilers, then stopped all 30 shots he faced in a 1-0 victory at Calgary and made 35 saves in Minnesota's 4-2 win on Sunday at Vancouver.
"Him making critical saves and giving us the opportunity to get that first goal in those games, especially on the road, was really important for us," Wild coach Mike Yeo told reporters on Monday.
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Since coming to the Wild on Jan. 14, Dubnyk is 5-1 with a 1.71 GAA and a .935 save percentage. The Wild acquired him from Arizona in a trade for a third-round draft pick.
"He deserves an awful lot of credit for the way that he's played," said Yeo. "I think that we have a much better focus in front of him right now, and guys are much more focused on their own tasks and their own jobs, and that's all over the ice."
Dubnyk spoke to reporters after Sunday's 4-2 win in Vancouver, and said the three wins were needed.
He gave a lot of the credit for his play to his teammates.
"These guys work so hard and have played so well every game," Dubnyk told the Star Tribune. "My job is to just go be solid and make the saves I'm supposed to make. If I do that and make a couple I'm not supposed to make, that's great. They've played so well and so solid in front of me, for me to approach it and say, 'Go be solid, go be confident back there for them,' it makes it easier for me."
The Wild host Chicago on Tuesday night.