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Crawford named NHL's Second Star for the month of January

by NHL Media / Chicago Blackhawks

NEW YORK (Feb. 1, 2016) – Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of January.


Kuznetsov ranked second in the NHL with 4-12—16 in 10 games to lead the Capitals (35-8-4, 74 points) to a 7-1-2 January and the top of the League standings. He registered at least one point in seven of his 10 appearances, highlighted by a trio of three-point performances in a four-game span: Jan. 14 vs. VAN (2-1—3), Jan. 17 vs. NYR (0-3—3) and Jan. 19 at CBJ (0-4—4). In the latter two contests, Kuznetsov became the fifth player in franchise history to collect three or more assists in consecutive games – and the first to achieve that feat since teammate Nicklas Backstrom Jan. 19-21, 2008 (0-8—8). The 23-year-old Chelyabinsk, Russia, native – who compiled 14-32—46 in 97 career outings prior to 2015-16 – shares fourth place in the NHL with 34 assists and is tied for fifth overall with 49 points in 47 games this season. He also shares the League lead with a +24 rating, boosted by a +7 clip in January.


Crawford went 9-2-0 with a 1.64 goals-against average, .952 save percentage and two shutouts in 11 contests to pace the NHL in wins and backstop the Blackhawks (33-16-4, 70 points) to an 11-3-0 January as well as the top of the Central Division and Western Conference. He allowed two or fewer goals in nine of his 11 appearances, including shutout victories Jan. 3 vs. OTT (26 SV) and Jan. 24 vs. STL (25 SV). Crawford also won his first eight decisions of the month, extending his personal winning streak to a career-high nine games and the team’s winning streak to a franchise-record 12 contests. The 31-year-old Montreal native owns a 28-12-2 record in 42 outings this season, ranking in the top 10 in the NHL in shutouts (1st; 7), saves (1st; 1,170), wins (2nd; 28), save percentage (4th; .931) and goals-against average (9th; 2.14).


Letang led all defensemen – and tied for fourth overall – with 3-11—14 in 10 games to lift the Penguins (24-17-7, 55 points) to a 6-2-3 January and the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. He posted at least one point in eight of his 10 outings, including five multi-point efforts. Letang opened the month with three assists Jan. 2 vs. NYI, his eighth such performance in his career and first since Jan. 27, 2015 vs. WPG (0-5—5). The 28-year-old Montreal native is tied for seventh among defensemen with 6-27—33 in 38 games this season, including 5-24—29 over his last 27 contests since the start of November.

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