|Ottawa Senators winger Dany Heatley was named the NHL's first star for the month of January.|
by Todd Anderson
After leading his team to a 9-3-1 record in January, Ottawa Senators winger Dany Heatley was named the NHL's first star of the month on Thursday.
Heatley led all NHL players with 22 points - 11 goals and assists in 13 games in January and also registered a league-best +14 plus-minus rating.
Heatley, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Jan. 21, is impressed with his team's effort during the month.
"It was a good month for the team. We had a lot of big wins and it was nice to be a part of it," Heatley says. "Coming into January we knew we needed to have a huge month and we put together a good string, especially when a lot of guys went down (with injuries). Guys battled through, certain guys stepped up, and we got the job done in January."
Centre Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher were both unavailable for most of the month, missing 14 games with knee injuries. Fellow centre Antoine Vermette was absent for five games with a hip injury, and defenceman Anton Volchenkov missed one game with an ankle injury. Still, the Senators rose to second in the Northeast Division standings, and Heatley played a big part in it.
Heatley's month of January saw him record multiple-point games on seven occasions, including a four-point performance - three goals and an assist - in a 6-3 win over Northeast Division-leading Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 3.
Heatley leads the Senators with: 67 points, fourth in the NHL; 31 goals, tied for third in the NHL; 36 assists, 14th in the NHL; 200 shots, ninth in the NHL; 21 even-strength goals, tied for second in the NHL; and 10 power-play goals, tied for 17th in the NHL.
Last season, Heatley became the first player in Senators history to record 50 goals and 100 points in a season. He finished the year by tying captain Daniel Alfredsson for the franchise record in points for a season with 103.