ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov has been named the NHL’s “First Star” for the month of January, the NHL announced today.
Kuznetsov ranked second in the NHL with 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) 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 (two goals, one assist), Jan. 17 vs. NYR (three assists) and Jan. 19 at CBJ (four assists). 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 on Jan. 19-21, 2008 (eight assists). The Chelyabinsk, Russia, native – who earned 46 points (14 goals, 32 assists) 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.