Jan 1, 2012, 3:32 PM EST
After moving up the league’s scoring leaderboard and keeping the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins among the Eastern Conference’s elite, Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin was named the NHL’s first star for December.
It was a month to remember for the 25-year-old Russian. He finished with 20 points in 13 games and was on a tear during Pittsburgh’s four-game winning streak late in the month, posting three goals and eight assists. With Crosby out, Malkin assumed a bigger on-ice role and logged some huge ice time – last time out against New Jersey, he played just a shade under 24 minutes.
Second star went to Tampa Bay sniper Steve Stamkos (who’s tied for fifth in league scorng with Malkin.) Stamkos scored 10 goals in December to move atop the NHL leaderboard — during Tampa’s current three-game winning streak, Stamkos has scored six times and posted the game-winning tallies against the Flyers and Hurricanes.
Third star went to Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin, who currently leads the NHL with 46 points. Sedin was the catalyst for Vancouver’s 10-4-1 December record – while he didn’t score a ton of goals (two) he did register an eye-popping 20 assists. Perhaps most impressively, Sedin registered an assist in all but two of Vancouver’s 15 games this month — that includes six multi-assist outings and a trio of three-assist efforts.
- Roberto Luongo records the shutout in first game back with Panthers 13
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack 42
- Canucks’ Kassian gets three games for boarding Dillon 26
- TGIF: Why Lightning fans can be upset with St. Louis 31
- Goalie nods: Luongo’s first game back with Panthers, Neuvirth makes Sabres debut 12
- Report: Kuznetsov terminated KHL deal, headed to Washington 20
- Canucks’ Bieksa: ‘If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is’ 34
- Luongo has Twitter fun at Canucks’ expense 36
- Sabres spoil Callahan’s Lightning debut, Stamkos’ return 7
- Dealing with the Devils: NHL reverses Kovalchuk punishment 49
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)
- Sabres announce Pat LaFontaine resigns as president of hockey operations (66)