Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators was named the NHL Third Star of the month for January. After being out twice this season for injuries, Rinne is finally hitting his stride and catapulted the Preds to fourth place in the Western Conference at the All-Star break.
Here is the full release from the NHL...
BERGERON, YANDLE AND RINNE NAMED NHL 'THREE STARS' FOR JANUARY
NEW YORK (January 31, 2011) -- Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle and Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for the month of January.
FIRST STAR -- PATRICE BERGERON, C, BOSTON BRUINS
Bergeron led all NHL scorers with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) and posted a +13 rating in 14 games, helping the Bruins (28-15-7) hit the All-Star break first in the Northeast Division. Highlighting Bergeron's month was a streak of four consecutive games with multiple points, beginning with a pair of goals and +2 rating in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens Jan. 8. He notched two assists and +2 rating in the Bruins' 4-2 comeback victory at Pittsburgh Jan. 10, a game which Boston trailed 2-0 with fewer than four minutes remaining. Bergeron recorded his first career NHL hat trick and a +4 rating in a 6-0 win over the Ottawa Senators Jan. 11 and tallied a goal and an assist in a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Jan. 13. The 25-year-old native of Ancienne-Lorette, Que. leads the Bruins in scoring with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 50 games.
SECOND STAR -- KEITH YANDLE, D, PHOENIX COYOTES
Yandle also tallied 17 points, tallying three goals and 14 assists, and posted a +9 rating in 14 games as the Coyotes (25-17-9) went 8-4-2 in January, climbing to sixth place in the Western Conference. Yandle tallied points in 11 of 14 games, closing the month with a nine-game point streak -- the League's longest active streak at the All-Star break. He earned his first career selection to the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25. The 24-year-old Boston native leads the Coyotes and all NHL defensemen in scoring with 44 points (eight goals, 36 assists) in 51 games. He already has eclipsed his single-season career highs in assists and points and is on pace to surpass his career-high 12 goals set in 2009-10.
THIRD STAR -- PEKKA RINNE, G, NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Rinne started 11 of the Predators' 13 games in January, tying for first in the NHL in wins (eight), ranking first in goals-against average (1.71) and second in save percentage (.947). He allowed just a single goal five times. Rinne kicked off 2011 by winning seven of his first eight games, four of which came on the road; the team played only three home games during January, a franchise low for home games in a month. He picked up two of three wins during Nashville’s second-ever sweep of California Jan. 5-8, making 40 and 42 saves in defeating Anaheim and San Jose, respectively. Two of Rinne’s eight wins came via shootout, where he hasn’t yielded a goal in three consecutive appearances. The Kempele, Finland native ranks second in the League in goals-against average (2.11) and save percentage (.929).
Here is a link to the Predators.com release.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass