The NHL announced on Thursday that Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov was named the second star of the month for November. The right-winger scored 10 goals and added 8 assists to lead the Lightning to a 8-6-1 month, and keep them afloat in the Atlantic division despite the loss of captain Steven Stamkos.
Kucherov scored in 10 of the 15 games the Lightning played in November, and in 5 of those 10 games he recorded more than one point. He started off the month on fire as he recorded 2 goals and 2 assists against the Islanders on November 1st. In the first week of November he scored 7 points in 3 games and was named the number one star of the week by the NHL for his efforts.
His 18 points stands as the third best November of any Lightning player all-time, trailing Stamkos’ 21 and Marty St. Louis’ 19, both recorded in 2010. He had a chance to pass both (and Stamkos’ record of 12 goals in a month), but was shut-out in losses to Boston and Columbus to end the month.
Kucherov also checked off a small career milestone as he scored goals against Philadelphia and Columbus, thus giving him goals against every current team in the NHL. Other career milestones that he reached last month include his 75th career goal and 175th career point.
The Lightning will need him to continue his play as they kick off a tough December schedule on Thursday in St. Louis.
Full Press Release below
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / DECEMBER 1, 2016
RINNE, KUCHEROV AND McDAVID NAMED NHL ‘THREE STARS’ FOR NOVEMBER
NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2016) – Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of November.
FIRST STAR – PEKKA RINNE, G, NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Rinne shared the League lead with nine wins (9-1-2) and paced the NHL with a 1.49 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in 12 appearances to guide the Predators (11-8-3, 25 points) to a 9-3-2 November. He allowed two or fewer goals in 10 of his 12 outings, including his 41st career shutout Nov. 12 vs. ANA (27 SV). Rinne also made 30-plus saves in five of his November appearances, highlighted by 37 in a month-closing win Nov. 29 at COL. The 34-year-old Kempele, Finland, native owns a 10-5-3 record in 18 total contests this season, ranking sixth in the League in save percentage (.934) and eighth in goals-against average (2.03).
SECOND STAR – NIKITA KUCHEROV, RW, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Kucherov placed second in the NHL in both goals (10) and points (18) in 15 November outings to power the Lightning (13-10-1, 27 points) to an 8-6-1 month. He registered at least one point in 10 his 15 appearances, including five multi-point efforts. Kucherov also matched a career high with 2-2—4, including the decisive goal, Nov. 1 at NYI and added a pair of other winning tallies (Nov. 10 vs. NYI and Nov. 15 at DET). The 23-year-old Maykop, Russia, native ranks third in the League with 11-15—26 in 23 games this season. He also leads the Lightning and ranks in the top 10 in the NHL in both goals (t-7th) and assists (t-5th).
THIRD STAR – CONNOR McDAVID, C, EDMONTON OILERS
McDavid paced the League with 6-13—19 in 15 games as the Oilers (12-10-2, 26 points) posted a 5-8-2 November. He picked up at least one point in 11 of his 15 outings, highlighted by his first career hat trick Nov. 19 at DAL. McDavid registered four other multi-point performances, including two additional three-point games (Nov. 8 at PIT: 0-3—3 and Nov. 23 at COL: 1-2—3). The 19-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., native leads the NHL with 20 assists and 31 points in 24 contests this season. His career average of 1.14 points per game (27-52—79 in 69 GP) ranks third among active players, behind only Sidney Crosby (1.33) and Evgeni Malkin (1.17).