First, the award — Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky has been named the NHL’s first star for December:
Bobrovsky went 12-0-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and .939 save percentage to guide the Blue Jackets (26-5-4, 56 points) to a perfect 14-0-0 December and the top of the League standings.
In doing so, Columbus equaled the second-longest single-season winning streak in NHL history (15) and became just the second team in League history to win every outing in a calendar month of at least 10 games (PIT: 15-0-0 in March 2013).
Bobrovsky allowed two or fewer goals in nine of his 12 December appearances and also made 30-plus saves five times, including a season-high 37 stops Dec. 27 vs. BOS.
Needless to say, it was a pretty good month. Now Bobrovsky will look to continue that form — and Columbus’ 15-game winning streak — when the Jackets host Edmonton at Nationwide. This will be the second time Bob’s faced Connor McDavid and company this season, having previously stopped 33 shots in a 3-1 win in mid-December.
For Edmonton, Cam Talbot gets the nod. He too enjoyed a very good December, going 7-1-4 with a .924 save percentage and 2.26 GAA.
— Eddie Lack is back on the shelf with a concussion, so Cam Ward starts yet again for the ‘Canes. No word yet on who goes for the visiting Devils.
— Anders Nilsson gets the nod for the Sabres, who are in New York this evening. No word yet on a Rangers starter.
— Good matchup in Washington, where Braden Holtby and the Caps will host Frederik Andersen and the Leafs. Holtby is coming off a 23-save win over Ottawa on Sunday, and Andersen is riding a personal four-game winning streak.
— The Lightning will continue to ride Andrei Vasilevskiy, with Ben Bishop sidelined due to injury. The Russian ‘tender has won four of his last six starts, and will try for five in seven when the Bolts host Connor Hellebuyck and the Jets.
— In a much-ballyhooed game in Nashville, Carey Price and the Habs take on Pekka Rinne and the Preds. Price is looking to rebound after losing three consecutive starts, while Rinne is looking over his shoulder at backup Juuse Saros, who has played very well in limited minutes.
— The Sharks and Kings renew their rivalry in San Jose tonight and, unsurprisingly, both teams are going with their No. 1s: Martin Jones for the Sharks, Peter Budaj for the Kings.