Feb 1, 2012, 12:28 PM EDT
In 13 games, Tavares scored nine goals and added 13 assists in helping the Islanders climb out of the Eastern Conference basement. Perhaps the biggest compliment for Tavares comes from who he beat out to take the first star.
Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin was the league’s second star and after the highlight reel stuff he’s provided this season, his January was just as impressive putting up 12 goals including three game-winners. His 16 points in the month helped lead the Penguins to a nine-game win streak that continues to roll on into February.
Nashville’s Pekka Rinne was no slouch either as the NHL’s third star. Rinne has helped the Predators storm towards the Western Conference lead by going on a 10-game win streak and winning 11 out of 12 starts in January. Rinne held opponents to two goals or less in nine straight games during the month and hasn’t slowed down.
While Malkin’s month may have been flashier and Rinne’s was Atlas-like in holding up the Predators, Tavares’ work on Long Island isn’t going unnoticed by the league.
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