NEW YORK (Jan. 2, 2009)
-- Boston Bruins
goaltenders Manny Fernandez
and Tim Thomas
, who combined to post a 12-1-0 record, 2.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 13 games, have been named co-recipients of the NHL 'First Star' award for December. Philadelphia Flyers
center Jeff Carter
was named Second Star and Washington Capitals
left wing Alex Ovechkin
earned Third Star honors.
FIRST STAR -- MANNY FERNANDEZ/ TIM THOMAS, G, BOSTON BRUINS
Fernandez posted a 5-1-0 record with a 1.58 goals-against average, 946 save percentage and one shutout in six starts, while Thomas won all seven of his starts with a 2.40 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and one shutout. Their efforts helped the Bruins conclude the month with a 28-5-4 record, their best start to a season since 1929-30 (32-4-1). Fernandez notched his 15th career shutout with 27 saves in a 4-0 victory at Florida Dec. 6 and faced 30 or more shots in each of his last three December wins. Thomas posted five of his seven victories on the road, including a 25-save performance in recording his 10th career shutout Dec. 23 at New Jersey.
SECOND STAR -- JEFF CARTER, C, PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Carter tied for the lead among NHL scorers with 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 14 games as the Flyers went 9-3-2. He recorded points in 11 of 14 games, including goals in nine contests. He tallied five multiple-point games, highlighted by four points (two goals, two assists) and a career-best +5 rating in a 7-1 victory against Washington Dec. 20, and added three-point games in victories over Tampa Bay (4-3, Dec. 2) and Pittsburgh (6-3, Dec. 13). Carter leads the NHL in goals (27) and ranks ninth in overall scoring with 27-16--43.
THIRD STAR -- ALEX OVECHKIN, LW, WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Named the NHL's First Star for November, Ovechkin continued his hot play by tallying a League-leading 12 goals (12-7--19) as the Capitals posted an 11-3-0 record. He notched a club-record sixth career overtime goal in a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders Dec. 16, tallied three points (two goals, one assist) as Washington overcame a 4-0 deficit to defeat the New York Rangers 5-4 in overtime Dec. 23, scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 26 and recorded a pair of goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Dec. 28. Ovechkin ranks second in the NHL scoring race with 26-26--52, is second in goals and leads the League in shots (231).