Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Canucks centre Henrik Sedin has been named the National Hockey League’s first star for the month of December. Sedin is joined by Ilya Bryzgalov of the Phoenix Coyotes (second star) and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (third star) as the NHL 'Three Stars' of the month for December.
FIRST STAR -- HENRIK SEDIN, C, VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Sedin led all scorers with 25 points (five goals, 20 assists) in 15 games, helping the Canucks go 10-4-1 and move into contention for the Northwest Division lead. Sedin recorded points in all but one game in December and began the month with multiple assists in six consecutive games, capped by a three-assist effort in a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild Dec. 12. He earned First Star honours for a three-point performance (one goal, two assists) in a 4-1 win over Nashville Dec. 22, snapping the Predators' streak of seven games without a regulation loss, and concluded the month by scoring the game-tying goal with 1:56 remaining in regulation of what became a 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues Dec. 31. Sedin, who earned his second consecutive selection to the Swedish Olympic Team Dec. 27, ranks second in the NHL scoring race with 55 points (19 goals, 36 assists) in 42 games.
SECOND STAR -- ILYA BRYZGALOV, G, PHOENIX COYOTES
Bryzgalov posted an 8-2-3 record with a 1.82 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and two shutouts, helping the Coyotes finish the month in second place in the Pacific Division and fourth in the Western Conference. Bryzgalov allowed two or fewer goals in 10 of 13 starts, highlighted by a season-high 37 saves in a 2-1 win over the Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks Dec. 12 and shutout victories over the Minnesota Wild (28 saves, Dec. 7) and Anaheim Ducks (21 saves, Dec. 23). Named to the Russian Olympic Team Dec. 25, Bryzgalov ranks among NHL goaltending leaders in shutouts (T-first, five), goals-against average (third, 2.03), save percentage (fourth, .927) and victories (T-fourth, 22-11-4).
THIRD STAR -- PATRICK KANE, RW, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Kane was the leading scorer on the red-hot Blackhawks with 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists), helping the club post an 11-4-0 record. The 21-year-old Buffalo native tallied points in 13 of 15 games, including a pair of six-game streaks. He notched the game-winning goal in victories over the Detroit Red Wings (3-0, Dec. 23) and Nashville Predators (4-1, Dec. 26 and 5-4, Dec. 27), becoming the first Blackhawks player with game-winners in three consecutive games since Murray Craven accomplished the feat from Dec. 26-29, 1995. Leading his club in goals (17) and points (48), Kane has notched points in eight consecutive games, in 14 of his past 15 and 26 of his past 30. He was selected to represent the United States at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games on Jan. 1.