Nov 3, 2010 12:25 AM
NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos, Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas and Colorado Avalanche right wing Chris Stewart have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for the month of October.
FIRST STAR -- STEVEN STAMKOS, C, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Stamkos led all players in scoring with 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 10 games as the Lightning (7-2-1) finished October with the top record in the Eastern Conference for the first time in franchise history. The 20-year-old Markham, Ontario native, who last season became the third-youngest player in NHL history to claim the League's goal-scoring title with 51, tallied points in nine of 10 games, highlighted by five multiple-point performances and a pair of game-winning goals. He also ranked among the League leaders in plus-minus, tying for second overall with a +9 rating. Stamkos tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in a 5-3 opening-night victory over the Atlanta Thrashers Oct. 9, notched a goal and two assists in a 5-4 victory over Dallas Oct. 18, ending the Stars' perfect 4-0-0 start to the season, and tallied the second hat trick of his NHL career plus an assist in a 5-2 victory over the Thrashers Oct. 22.
SECOND STAR -- TIM THOMAS, G, BOSTON BRUINS
Thomas won each of his six starts in October, posting a League-leading 0.50 goals-against average, .984 save percentage and three shutouts. He allowed one goal or fewer in each appearance, becoming the first Bruins goaltender to start the season 6-0-0 since Hockey Hall of Famer Cecil 'Tiny' Thompson in 1937-38. The 2009 Vezina Trophy winner, who went through a long and grueling process of rehabilitating his hip during the off-season, made his 2010-11 debut by stopping 29 shots in a 3-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Oct. 10 to gain a split of the two-game Compuware NHL Premiere series in Prague. Other highlights included victories over the Washington Capitals in a home-and-home series Oct. 19 and 21 and consecutive shutouts over the Northeast Division rivals Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators to close the month.
THIRD STAR -- CHRIS STEWART, RW, COLORADO AVALANCHE
Stewart ranked second behind Stamkos in October scoring, posting 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 11 games. He also tied for the League lead with three game-winning goals, helping the Avalanche (6-4-1) claim first place in the Northwest Division. The 23-year-old Toronto native, who enjoyed a breakout 28-goal season in 2009-10, opened the new campaign with a goal and an assist in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks Oct. 7. He ended the month owning the NHL's longest active point streak of eight games (8-6--14 from Oct. 15-30), highlighted by his second career hat trick in a 6-5 victory over the Calgary Flames on Oct. 28.