Nikita Kucherov named NHL Star of the Month
Lightning forward, Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane earn honors for MarchNHL.com @NHLdotcom
NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the month of March.
FIRST STAR - NIKITA KUCHEROV, RW, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Kucherov paced the NHL with 12-10-22 in 14 games, and also led the League with six power-play goals, to power the Lightning (38-29-9, 85 points) to a 10-4-1 March. He collected at least one point in 11 of his 14 outings, highlighted by eight multi-point performances as well as a five-game streak to close the month (7-4-11). Kucherov also registered his third career hat trick March 23 at BOS and second career overtime goal March 24 at DET. The 23-year-old Maykop, Russia, native - who set a Lightning record for points in one calendar month - shares second place in the NHL with 38 goals and ranks sixth overall with 80 points through 68 games this season, both career highs. His 17 power-play goals, another career high, share the League lead.
SECOND STAR - SERGEI BOBROVSKY, G, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Bobrovsky went 9-1-1 with a 1.09 goals-against average, .967 save percentage and four shutouts to guide the Blue Jackets (49-20-8, 106 points) to a 10-4-2 March, helping the team clinch its third all-time playoff appearance. He yielded one goal or fewer in eight of his 11 outings, highlighted by three straight shutouts to open the month. Bobrovsky also made 30-plus saves seven times, including a season-high 44 March 23 at WSH. The 28-year-old Novokuznetsk, Russia, native leads the NHL in wins (41), goals-against average (1.97) and save percentage (.935) - and shares second place in shutouts (7) - through 60 appearances this season. His 41 victories are a club record, already eight more than the franchise's prior mark.
THIRD STAR - PATRICK KANE, RW, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Kane ranked second in the NHL with 10-12-22 in 16 games as the Western Conference-leading Blackhawks (50-21-7, 107 points) posted an 11-3-2 March to clinch their ninth consecutive playoff berth. He registered at least one point in 12 of his 16 contests, seven of which were multi-point efforts. That included a trio of three-point performances, highlighted by his fourth career hat trick March 1 vs. PIT. The 28-year-old Buffalo native and reigning Art Ross Trophy winner places second in the NHL with 34 53-87 through 78 games this season, including a League-leading 19-19-38 in 26 outings since Feb. 1.