NEW YORK — Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, Vegas Golden Knights wing Max Pacioretty and Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for December.
Matthews earned the first star after finding the scoresheet in all seven of his games in December, sharing the league lead with 10 goals while averaging 2.00 points per game to help the Leafs to a 4-2-1 month.
The 24-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz., registered five multi-point performances, including a trio of multi-goal outings -- Dec. 1 versus Colorado, for his fourth career hat trick; Dec. 7 against Columbus; and Dec. 14 at Edmonton. Matthews' four goals and eight points on the power play ranked him No. 1 in the league.
Pacioretty, who earned the second star, had 10 goals and six assists in 12 games to lift the Golden Knights into first place in the Pacific Division with a 10-3-0 record last month. He also had three game-winning goals to tie for the league lead. He was second in shots on goal and tied for second in power-play goals with three.
The 33-year-old from New Canaan, Conn., had a seven-game goal streak to open December, a career high as well as a first in Vegas history.
Demko went 7-1-0 in December with a 1.72 goals-against average, .946 save percentage and one shutout to help the Canucks post an 8-1-1 record last month. The team had a record-tying 7-0-0 start under new head coach Bruce Boudreau.
Demko gave up two or fewer goals in six of his eight starts, highlighted by his second career shutout on Dec. 6 versus the L.A. Kings. He also had five games with 30-plus saves, including a season-high 40 stops Dec. 4 against Pittsburgh.
The 26-year-old from San Diego is tied for fifth in the NHL with 15 wins this season.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2022.
The Canadian Press