Two days after being named the NHL second star of the week for last week, Pekka Rinne was named the NHL third star for the month of January 2012 for his 11-1 record, leading the Predators to an outstanding month where they ended the month with the third highest point total in the league.
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TAVARES, MALKIN AND RINNE NAMED NHL 'THREE STARS' FOR JANUARY
NEW YORK (February 1, 2012) -- New York Islanders center John Tavares , Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for the month of January.
FIRST STAR -- JOHN TAVARES, C, NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Tavares led the NHL in assists (13) and points (22) and shared the League lead in plus-minus (+11) last month. Tavares recorded points in 12 of 13 games, including six multiple-point performances and four game-winning goals. He also made his first career appearance in the NHL All-Star Game. The 21-year-old Mississauga, Ontario native recorded a 12-game point streak from Dec. 29 to Jan. 21, posting 21 points (8-13--21).
It is the longest point streak by an NHL player this season. The first overall choice in the 2009 NHL Draft leads the Islanders in scoring with 53 points (22 goals, 31 assists) in 49 games. He is fourth among NHL scorers, tied for third in the NHL with six game-winning goals, and ranks fourth overall with 184 shots on goal.
SECOND STAR -- EVGENI MALKIN, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Malkin notched 16 points, featuring a League-leading 12 goals, as the Penguins finished January on an eight-game winning streak. Malkin tallied points in nine of 12 games, highlighted by a three-goal, five-point, +3 effort in a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Jan. 15. He has tallied 14 points (10 goals, four assists) during the Penguins’ winning streak, including three game-winning goals (Jan. 13 vs. Florida, Jan. 15 at Tampa Bay and Jan. 22 in overtime vs. Washington) and two shootout-deciding tallies (Jan. 20 vs. Montreal and Jan. 31 vs. Toronto). The second overall selection in 2004 leads the NHL in scoring with 59 points (27 goals, 32
assists) in 43 games and is converting at 75% (six-for-eight) in the shootout, second to New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk (89%, eight-for-nine).
THIRD STAR -- PEKKA RINNE, G, NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Rinne went 11-1-0 with a 1.92 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and one shutout, helping the Predators record the second 11-win month in franchise history and move within three points of first place in the NHL overall standings. Rinne closed the month with victories in 10 consecutive starts, allowing two goals or fewer nine times. His streak included 35+ saves in consecutive wins over Philadelphia (4-2, 36 saves, Jan. 14), New York Islanders (3-1, 36 saves, Jan. 16) and Columbus (3-0, 38 saves, Jan. 19). Rinne has posted a 19-2-0 mark in his past 21 appearances to improve to 29-11-4 on the season – the second-highest victory total in the League behind Detroit's Jimmy Howard (31). He also ranks second among NHL goaltenders in saves (1,269), shots faced (1,374) and games (46).
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass