NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins
center Patrice Bergeron
, Phoenix Coyotes
defenseman Keith Yandle
and Nashville Predators
goaltender Pekka Rinne
have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for the month of January.
FIRST STAR -- PATRICE BERGERON, C, BOSTON BRUINS
Bergeron led all NHL scorers with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) and posted a +13 rating in 14 games, helping the Bruins (28-15-7) hit the All-Star break first in the Northeast Division. Highlighting Bergeron's month was a streak of four consecutive games with multiple points, beginning with a pair of goals and +2 rating in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens
Jan. 8. He notched two assists and +2 rating in the Bruins' 4-2 comeback victory at Pittsburgh Jan. 10, a game which Boston trailed 2-0 with fewer than four minutes remaining. Bergeron recorded his first career NHL hat trick and a +4 rating in a 6-0 win over the Ottawa Senators
Jan. 11 and tallied a goal and an assist in a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers
Jan. 13. The 25-year-old native of Ancienne-Lorette, Que. leads the Bruins in scoring with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 50 games.
SECOND STAR -- KEITH YANDLE, D, PHOENIX COYOTES
Yandle also tallied 17 points, tallying three goals and 14 assists, and posted a +9 rating in 14 games as the Coyotes (25-17-9) went 8-4-2 in January, climbing to sixth place in the Western Conference. Yandle tallied points in 11 of 14 games, closing the month with a nine-game point streak -- the League's longest active streak at the All-Star break. He earned his first career selection to the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25. The 24-year-old Boston native leads the Coyotes and all NHL defensemen in scoring with 44 points (eight goals, 36 assists) in 51 games. He already has eclipsed his single-season career highs in assists and points and is on pace to surpass his career-high 12 goals set in 2009-10.
THIRD STAR -- PEKKA RINNE, G, NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Rinne started 11 of the Predators' 13 games in January, tying for first in the NHL in wins (eight), ranking first in goals-against average (1.71) and second in save percentage (.947). He allowed just a single goal five times. Rinne kicked off 2011 by winning seven of his first eight games, four of which came on the road; the team played only three home games during January, a franchise low for home games in a month. He picked up two of three wins during Nashville's second-ever sweep of California Jan. 5-8, making 40 and 42 saves in defeating Anaheim and San Jose, respectively. Two of Rinne's eight wins came via shootout, where he hasn't yielded a goal in three consecutive appearances. The Kempele, Finland native ranks second in the League in goals-against average (2.11) and save percentage (.929).