Smith, Karlsson and Stamkos are February’s three stars

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Phoenix goalie Mike Smith, Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos are the NHL’s three stars of the month for February.

Smith went 11-0-0 with a .952 save percentage, helping the Coyotes catapult into the Pacific Division lead. Note to the Flyers: his contract expires July 1, 2013.

Karlsson racked up seven goals and 11 assists in 12 games for the Senators, all but clinching the scoring title among defensemen. Despite some questionable play in his own end and minimal time on the penalty kill, he’s also right in the race for the Norris Trophy. (I’d still vote for Shea Weber, but Karlsson’s making a strong case.)

Speaking of trophies, winning the Rocket Richard Trophy seems inevitable for Stamkos. The Lightning sniper scored 11 times in February, increasing his league-leading total to 44, seven clear of Evgeni Malkin.