Pavelski named NHL Star of Month
NEW YORK – Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Anton Khudobin, Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Phil Kessel and San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the month of January.
FIRST STAR – ANTON KHUDOBIN, G, CAROLINA HURRICANES
Khudobin appeared in each of Carolina's 14 games in January, posting a 10-4-0 record, 2.19 goals-against average and .927 save percentage, as the Hurricanes (25-20-9) climbed to third place in the Metropolitan Division by month's end. Khudobin allowed two goals or fewer in eight of 13 starts, did not surrender more than three goals in any appearance and posted a pair of four-game win streaks (Jan. 2-9 and Jan. 22-27). He improved to 6-0-0 on the season in a 6-1 win over Toronto on Jan. 9, setting franchise records for most winning decisions to start a season and a career with Hartford/Carolina (six). Signed as a free agent by the Hurricanes in July, Khudobin improved his season record to 12-4-0 with a 2.16 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage in 17 appearances.
SECOND STAR – PHIL KESSEL, RW, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Kessel tied for the League scoring lead in January, recording 20 points (7-13--20) in 15 games, as the Maple Leafs (30-21-6) posted a 9-5-1 record and jumped to third place in the Atlantic Division. Kessel's efforts during a seven-game point streak from Jan. 10-21, during which he collected 6-8--14, helped the Maple Leafs post a six-game winning streak (Jan. 12-21), the club's longest since the 2005-06 season. Kessel, who will represent the United States at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games later this month, leads the Maple Leafs in scoring and is fourth in the League overall with 61 points (30-31--61) in 57 games. His 30 goals rank second to Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (39). Kessel tops the Maple Leafs in goals, assists, points, game-winning goals (tie-4) and shots (217).
THIRD STAR – JOE PAVELSKI, C, SAN JOSE SHARKS
Pavelski scored a League-leading 12 goals in 15 games last month and added four assists as the Sharks (35-15-6) went 9-6-0 and strengthened their hold on second place in the Pacific Division. Pavelski recorded goals in eight contests, including the game-winning goal in each of three consecutive games. He notched his first NHL hat trick in a 5-4 win over Tampa Bay Jan. 18, tallying a 'natural' hat trick with three scores in a 6:12 span late in the second period; scored twice in a 3-2 win over Calgary Jan. 20; and recorded the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Winnipeg on Jan. 23. Pavelski, who will represent the United States at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games later this month, is tied for third place among NHL goal-scorers with 29, just two shy of his single-season career high set in 2011-12. He ranks second on the Sharks in points with 29-25--54 in 56 games.