Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of December.
FIRST STAR – SERGEI BOBROVSKY, G, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Bobrovsky went 12-0-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and .939 save percentage to guide the Blue Jackets (26-5-4, 56 points) to a perfect 14-0-0 December and the top of the League standings. In doing so, Columbus equaled the second-longest single-season winning streak in NHL history (15) and became just the second team in League history to win every outing in a calendar month of at least 10 games (PIT: 15-0-0 in March 2013). Bobrovsky allowed two or fewer goals in nine of his 12 December appearances and also made 30-plus saves five times, including a season-high 37 stops Dec. 27 vs. BOS. The 28-year-old Novokuznetsk, Russia, native leads the NHL with 24 wins in 2016-17, five more than any other goaltender. He also ranks third in both goalsagainst average (1.95) and save percentage (.934) in 31 games.
SECOND STAR – EVGENI MALKIN, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Malkin paced the League with 7-14—21 in 15 contests to power the Penguins (25-8-5, 55 points) to a 12-1-2 December and second place in the overall NHL standings. He collected at least one point in 11 of his 15 outings, highlighted by eight multi-point performances as well as his 800th career point Dec. 27 at NJD, making Malkin the fourth player in franchise history to reach the milestone (311-492—803 in 682 GP). He also shared the League lead with three game-winning goals during the month, posting the decisive markers Dec. 5 vs. OTT, Dec. 10 at TBL and Dec. 31 vs. MTL (OT). The 30-year-old Magnitogorsk, Russia, native tops the NHL with 16-27—43 in 38 appearances this season.
THIRD STAR – DEVAN DUBNYK, G, MINNESOTA WILD
Dubnyk went 10-1-1 with a 1.88 goals-against average, .934 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Wild (23-9-4, 50 points) to a 12-1-1 December, including a franchise-record 12-game winning streak. He yielded two or fewer goals in 10 of his 12 appearances, highlighted by an 18-save shutout Dec. 20 vs. COL – his League-leading fifth of the season. The 30-year-old Regina, Sask., native also paces the NHL with a 1.75 goals-against average and .941 save percentage while sharing second place in the League with 19 victories in 29 outings in 2016-17.
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