NEW YORK – Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of November.
FIRST STAR – PATRICK KANE, RW, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Kane ranked second among skaters with nine goals, including four game-winners, and 19 points, helping the Blackhawks win 12 of 15 games to move into first place in the NHL standings (20-4-4, 44 points). He recorded at least one point in 13 of 15 contests, including six multi-point efforts, and posted a career-long, 12-game point streak from Nov. 3-27 (8-9—17). Kane also scored the game-winning goal in consecutive games twice during the month: Nov. 6-9 versus the Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars, and Nov. 25-27 against the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. He capped the month with 1-1—2, his ninth multi-point performance of the season, in a 5-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes Nov. 30. The 25-year-old Buffalo native and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner ranks third in the NHL with 16 goals, including a League-leading five game-winners, and tied for fifth with 30 points in 28 games this season.
SECOND STAR – EVGENI MALKIN, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Malkin led all players with 21 assists and 25 points, including a League-leading nine power-play assists and 10 power-play points, as the Penguins went 9-5-1 to remain in the top spot in the Metropolitan Division (18-9-1, 37 points). He registered at least one assist/point in 14 of 15 games, including each of Pittsburgh’s last eight contests (4-13—17). Malkin also posted eight multi-point performances, capped by a season-high 1-3—4 effort in a 5-1 triumph over the Florida Panthers Nov. 30. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 21 assists were the most by an NHL player in one calendar month since January 1996, when Wayne Gretzky recorded 21 helpers for the Los Angeles Kings. The 27-year-old Magnitogorsk, Russia, native leads the League with 28 assists and ranks second with 35 points, one behind teammate Sidney Crosby (13-23—36), in 28 games this season.
THIRD STAR – JOSH HARDING, G, MINNESOTA WILD
Harding posted an 8-2-2 record with a 1.88 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and one shutout in helping the Wild go 9-4-2 and move into the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference (16-8-5, 37 points). He recorded his second shutout of the season (19 saves) in a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils Nov. 3 and allowed two or fewer goals in nine of 12 appearances. Harding also went 6-1-0 in seven games at Xcel Energy Center, where he has a 32-10-2 record in 44 career starts. The 29-year-old Regina, Sask., native has appeared in 22 games this season, leading the NHL with a 1.45 goals-against average and three shutouts (tied) while also placing in the top three in the League in save percentage (.939) and wins (14).