Price named NHL’s second star for November
NEW YORK — Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Dustin Byfuglien have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the month of November.
FIRST STAR — SIDNEY CROSBY, C, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Crosby led all players last month with 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 14 games, taking first place in the NHL scoring race and lifting the Penguins (16-8-2) to a first-place tie with the Philadelphia Flyers in the Atlantic Division. Crosby finished the month with an active 13-game point streak, the longest in the NHL this season and the third-longest of his career, helping the Penguins reel off seven consecutive victories. Crosby has tallied multiple points eight times during the streak, highlighted by a season-high four points (one goal, three assists) in a 5-4 shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Nov. 19 and a hat trick, including the 200th goal of his NHL career, in a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames Nov. 27. The Penguins captain increased his season points total to 41 (18 goals, 23 assists), one more than second-place Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning (21-19–40).
SECOND STAR — CAREY PRICE, G, MONTREAL CANADIENS
Price posted an 8-4-0 record, 1.59 goals-against average, .952 save percentage and three shutouts in 12 games, backstopping the Canadiens (15-8-1) to a five-point lead atop the Northeast Division. Price faced more shots than any goaltender in November (392) and allowed one goal or fewer in six of his final nine starts of the month, highlighted by a 41-save performance in a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Nov. 16. He also recorded shutouts in victories over the Vancouver Canucks (2-0, Nov. 9) and Toronto Maple Leafs (2-0, Nov. 21). Price ranks among NHL goaltending leaders in all major categories this season, sharing first place in victories (14-7-1) and shutouts (four), and placing third in save percentage (.935) and fourth in goals-against average (1.95).
THIRD STAR — DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN, D, ATLANTA THRASHERS
Byfuglien led all defensemen in scoring with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 14 games and posted a +9 rating, helping the Thrashers (13-9-3) climb to sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Two of his goals were game-winners, bringing his season total to a League-leading five. Byfuglien closed the month with a flourish, scoring the game-winning goal plus three assists and a +2 rating in a 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins Nov. 28 and notching the game-tying goal late in the third period and drawing an assist on Anthony Stewart’s overtime goal in a 4-3 win at Colorado Nov. 30, extending the Thrashers’ winning streak to six games. Returning to his preferred spot on the blueline this season, his first in Atlanta, Byfuglien leads all NHL defensemen in goals (10) and points (27) in 25 games.