Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/02/07 at 05:10 PM ET
Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla,Detroit Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek andPittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for December.
FIRST STAR—JAROME IGINLA, RW, CALGARY FLAMES
Iginla led all NHL scorers in December, tallying 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 14 games, and posted a +9 rating as the Flames (19-14-4, 42 points) vaulted from last to first in the Northwest Division. The Flames captain recorded points in 12 contests, including a trio of four-point performances in victories over Minnesota (5-2, Dec. 12), Phoenix (6-3, Dec. 16) and Los Angeles (6-4, Dec. 29), and finished the month with three points (one goal, two assists) and a +2 rating in a 4-2 victory over archrival Edmonton on New Year’s Eve. Iginla moved up to third place in League scoring with 52 points (22 goals, 30 assists) in 37 games.
SECOND STAR—DOMINIK HASEK, G, DETROIT RED WINGS
Hasek posted a 10-1-0 record with a 1.59 goals-against average, .940 save percentage and two shutouts in 12 games as the Red Wings (24-9-5) moved within two points of Nashville for the Central Division lead. Hasek allowed one goal or fewer in seven games, including shutouts over the Minnesota Wild (34 saves, Dec. 1) and Columbus Blue Jackets (27 saves, Dec. 20). The 41-year-old, six-time Vezina Trophy winner has posted a 20-5-3 record with a 1.82 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and five shutouts in 29 games this season. He leads all NHL goaltenders in goals-against average, ranks second in shutouts, fourth in victories and fifth in save percentage.
THIRD STAR—SIDNEY CROSBY, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Crosby ranked second among NHL scorers in December with 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 14 games. The 19-year-old posted a 10-game point streak from Dec. 2-21, including a career-high six points (one goal, five assists) in an 8-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Dec. 13 that propelled him into the NHL scoring lead. The only other teenager to hold the League lead in points at any time in the League’s modern era was Edmonton’s Wayne Gretzky, briefly near the end of the 1979-80 season and early in the 1980-81 campaign. Crosby ended the month with three assists in a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Dec. 29, raising his League-leading points total to 58 (17 goals, 41 assists) in 34 games.
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