NEW YORK – Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson and OhioHealth Dr. Laurie Hommema have been named the NHL’s “First Stars” for the week ending Feb. 14.
Throughout the 2020-21 season the NHL is celebrating the remarkable efforts of the off-ice stars who make it possible for us to play our games amid a pandemic by honoring frontline healthcare heroes from the regions represented by the League’s weekly and monthly “Stars.”
Dr. Hommema, OhioHealth’s medical director of provider and associate well-being, and her husband, Kevin, developed an idea to clean and reuse N95 masks during the pandemic. Coronavirus resulted in a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), leaving many frontline healthcare workers without crucial safety equipment. The ability to decontaminate and recycle millions of masks each day is helping thousands of these heroes remain safe. Dr. Hommema also is responsible for ensuring the well-being of doctors and nurses within the OhioHealth system by monitoring shift length, personal time off and quality of time away from work, all in an effort to support resilience and combat compassion fatigue.
Rounding out the “Three Stars” of the week are Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Bryan Rust . More on each NHL player’s performance can be found below:
FIRST STAR – CAM ATKINSON, RW, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Atkinson led the NHL with 3-4-7, including a pair of shorthanded goals, in three games to power the Blue Jackets (7-5-4, 18 points) to a 2-0-1 week. He scored a shorthanded, penalty-shot goal in a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Feb. 8. Atkinson then registered his fourth career four-point performance, posting 1-3-4 (including his franchise-record 15th career shorthanded goal) in a 6-5 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks Feb. 11. He finished the week with 1-1-2 in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Blackhawks Feb. 13. The 31-year-old Riverside, Conn., native has collected 5-7-12 in 16 contests this season, highlighted by a League-best three shorthanded goals. Atkinson’s 15 career shorthanded goals are the fourth-most in the NHL since his debut in 2011-12, behind only Brad Marchand (23), Michael Grabner (16) and Andrew Cogliano (16).
SECOND STAR – MARC-ANDRE FLEURY, G, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Fleury stopped 100 of the 106 shots he faced, compiling a 3-1-0 record, 1.51 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and one shutout to help the Golden Knights (10-2-1, 21 points) maintain first place in the Honda NHL West Division. He split a pair of decisions against the Anaheim Ducks, making 19 stops in a 5-4 victory Feb. 9 and 27 saves in a 1-0 loss Feb. 11. Fleury then turned aside 24 shots in a 3-1 triumph over the San Jose Sharks Feb. 13. He capped the week with his 63rd career shutout, one behind Henrik Lundqvist for 16th place in NHL history, in a 1-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche Feb. 14 (30 SV). The 36-year-old Sorel, Que., native owns a 7-1-0 record, 1.38 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and two shutouts through eight appearances this season.
THIRD STAR – BRYAN RUST, RW, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Rust collected 3-2-5 in two outings to lift the Penguins (7-5-1, 15 points) to a pair of wins. He notched 1-1-2, including an assist on the tying goal with 18 seconds remaining in regulation, in a 4-3 shootout victory against the New York Islanders Feb. 11. Rust then posted 2‑1-3, his 13th career three-point effort, in a 6-3 triumph over the Washington Capitals Feb. 14. The 28-year-old Pontiac, Mich., native – who registered career highs in goals (27), assists (29) and points (56) in 2019-20 (55 GP) – tops Pittsburgh with 5-8-13 in 13 games this season.