NEW YORK - Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the month of February.
FIRST STAR - NIKITA KUCHEROV, RW, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Kucherov led the NHL in assists and points with 8-17-25 in 15 games, helping the Lightning (49-12-4, 102 points) post a 12-1-2 February record that increased the team's lead atop the NHL overall standings to 13 points. Tampa Bay recorded at least one point in each of its first 14 games of the month (12-0-2), including a franchise-record, 10-game winning streak from Feb. 9-27. Kucherov tallied multiple points in five consecutive games during the record streak (7-11-18), highlighted by back-to-back 1-3-4 outings in home victories over CGY (Feb. 12) and DAL (Feb. 14) and a five-point effort (2-3-5) in a win at CBJ (Feb. 18). He tallied a goal in a win vs. BUF (Feb. 21), hitting 100 points in his 62nd game of 2018-19 to become the fastest player to the century mark since Mario Lemieux in 1996-97 (61 GP). He tallied three assists for his NHL-best 30th multi-point game of the season in a win at NYR (Feb. 27), helping the Lightning improve its record when Kucherov records a point to 42-4-3. The 25-year-old Maykop, Russia native leads the NHL with 30-74-104, already the second-highest single-season points total in franchise history and the most ever by a Tampa Bay right wing. He is on pace for 131 points, aiming to become the first NHL player to break 130 points since Lemieux (161) and Jaromir Jagr (149) in 1995-96.
SECOND STAR - PATRICK KANE, RW, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Kane ranked second in the NHL with 11-12-23 in 13 outings to lift the Blackhawks (27 28-9, 63 points) to a 9-4-0 February and within five points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Kane found the scoresheet in all but one of his appearances during the month, including each of his first 11 to run his overall point streak to 20 games (Jan. 3 - Feb. 22: 17-26-43). In doing so, he became the seventh player in League history to record multiple point streaks of at least 20 contests (also Oct. 17 - Dec. 13, 2015: 16-24-40 in 26 GP). Kane - who registered multiple points seven times in February - also scored in nine games, capped by the winning tally with 16.1 seconds remaining in regulation Feb. 27 at ANA. That vaulted Kane to his second career 40-goal season (also 2015-16: 46-60-106 in 82 GP), making him the seventh player in Chicago history with multiple such campaigns. The 30-year-old Buffalo native sits second in the NHL in both goals (40) and points (94) through 63 games this season, aided by a League-best 18-26-44 in 23 outings during the calendar year.
THIRD STAR - VLADIMIR TARASENKO, RW, ST. LOUIS BLUES
Tarasenko placed third in the NHL with 10-12-22 in 14 games to help the Blues (34 23 6, 74 points) go 12-1-1 in February and match a franchise record for wins in a calendar month (also April 2013: 12-3-0). Tarasenko collected points in 12 of his 14 appearances, highlighted by six multi-point efforts. That included his fourth career hat trick Feb. 10 at NSH, sealed in overtime by his 200th NHL goal. Tarasenko scored in seven total contests during the month, topping the League with four game-winners: Feb. 2 at CBJ, Feb. 10 at NSH, Feb. 16 at COL and Feb. 17 at MIN. The 27-year-old Yaroslavl, Russia, native ranks second on St. Louis with 27-27-54 in 62 outings this season. That includes 16-16-32 in 25 games since Jan. 3 to lift the Blues (19-5-2) from last in the NHL standings to third place in the Central Division.