Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Canucks centre Henrik Sedin has been named the National Hockey League’s third star of the month for December. Sedin is joined by Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin (first star) and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos (second star) as the NHL ‘Three Stars’ of the month.
FIRST STAR -- EVGENI MALKIN, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Malkin tallied 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 13 games as the Penguins (21-13-4) finished the month fifth in the Eastern Conference and just four points off the Conference lead. Malkin recorded 19 points during a nine-game point streak from Dec. 8-29, tying Anaheim's Teemu Selanne and Chicago's Patrick Sharp for the longest such streak in the League this season. He tallied five points, including the seventh hat trick of his NHL career, in an 8-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 17. It marked Malkin's fourth five-point game in his six NHL seasons. He followed up by assisting on all three Penguins goals in a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Dec. 20. His eight points were a career high for any two-game span. The 25-year-old Magnitogorsk, Russia native increased his season points total to 43 (15 goals, 28 assists) in 31 games and climbed to sixth place in the NHL scoring race.
SECOND STAR -- STEVEN STAMKOS, C, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Stamkos surged to the NHL goal-scoring lead by notching 10 goals along with seven assists in 13 games as the Lightning (17-17-3) ended the month within six points of the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Stamkos notched four game-winning goals in a seven-game stretch from Dec. 15-31, beginning with an overtime strike in a 5-4 win over the Calgary Flames. He also scored the game-deciding goals at Columbus (3-2, Dec. 17), vs. Philadelphia (5-1, Dec. 27) and vs. Carolina (5-2, Dec. 31), the latter capping his fifth career NHL hat trick. The first overall selection in the 2008 NHL Draft enters the New Year with a League-leading 26 goals, four more than second-place Marian Gaborik of the New York Rangers. Stamkos is the only NHL player to have scored at least 40 goals in each of the past three calendar years.
THIRD STAR -- HENRIK SEDIN, C, VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Sedin led all NHL scorers in December with 22 points (two goals, 20 assists) in 15 games and vaulted to first place in the NHL scoring race, spurring the Canucks (24-13-2) to top spot in the Northwest Division. Sedin tallied points in 13 of 15 games, highlighted by six multiple-point performances and one game-winning goal. Henrik assisted on each of brother Daniel's three goals in a 6-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Dec. 6 and tallied one-goal, two-assist performances in wins over the Minnesota Wild (4-0, Dec. 19) and Anaheim Ducks (5-2, Dec. 29). Henrik, the 2009-10 NHL scoring champion, enters 2012 with the League points lead (10-36--46) in a bid for his second Art Ross Trophy in three seasons.