Khudobin, Kessel, Pavelski named three stars for January

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Carolina’s Anton Khudobin, Toronto’s Phil Kessel and San Jose’s Joe Pavelski were named the NHL’s three stars for January, the league announced on Monday.

Khudobin, one of the league’s best bargains this year at $800,000, appeared in all 14 games for Carolina last month, going 10-4-0 with a 2.19 GAA and .927 save percentage. His outstanding play vaulted the ‘Canes into third place in the Metropolitan Division and helped set a franchise record for wins to start a season and career with Hartford/Carolina (six).

Kessel, who was also named a star of the week on Monday, tied for the NHL scoring lead with 20 points in 15 games, pacing the Leafs to a 9-5-1 mark and third spot in the Atlantic. The solid month also solidified Kessel’s spot among team leaders in nearly every statistical category — he now leads Toronto in goals (30), assists (31), points (61), game-winning goals (four) and shots (217).

Pavelski earned third star honors by leading all skaters in goals (12) as the Sharks went 9-6-0 and remained in second place in the Pacific Division. Pavelski scored in eight of 15 games, notched the game-winner in three straight and scored his first-ever hat trick in a 5-4 win in Tampa Bay. As a result, the American Olympian now sits third in the NHL in goals (29), one behind Kessel and nine behind Washington captain Alex Ovechkin.