Rinne Named To NHL "Three Stars of the Month" For January
/ Nashville Predators
Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has been named the Third Star of the Month for January. Rinne started 11 of the team’s 13 January contests, tying for first in the NHL in wins (8), ranking first in goals-against average among netminders playing at least five games (1.71) and ranking second in save percentage among those starting the majority of their teams’ games (.947). He allowed just a single goal five times, two goals on four occasions and three goals just twice in the 11 starts.
The 6-5, 209-pounder kicked off 2011 by winning seven of his first eight games, four of which came on the road. This included Nashville’s second-ever sweep of California Jan. 5-8 and another three-game road winning streak Jan. 18-23. Two of Rinne’s eight wins came via shootout, where he hasn’t yielded a goal in three straight appearances, stopping 11 consecutive shooters. He has stopped 23-of-27 shooters this season (.857), tops among goalies appearing in at least three shootouts. The Kempele, Finland native now ranks second in the League in both goals-against average (2.11) and save percentage (.929). He has a 15-6-1 record when he receives at least two goals from his offense, and 11-2-1 when the Predators score at least three goals.
This is Rinne’s first selection as a Star of the Month, and fifth time he has been honored by the League. He was named NHL Rookie of the Month in February 2009, has been named First Star of the Week twice (Dec. 8, 2008 and March 22, 2010), Second Star once (Nov. 2, 2009) and Third Star once (March 15, 2010).
Boston forward Patrice Bergeron was named the First Star of the Month. Bergeron led all NHL scorers with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) and posted a +13 rating in 14 games, helping the Bruins (28-15-7) hit the All-Star break first in the Northeast Division. Phoenix defenseman Keith Yandle was named the Second Star of the Month. Yandle also tallied 17 points, tallying three goals and 14 assists, and posted a +9 rating in 14 games as the Coyotes (25-17-9) went 8-4-2 in January, climbing to sixth place in the Western Conference. Yandle tallied points in 11 of 14 games, closing the month with a nine-game point streak -- the League's longest active streak at the All-Star break.