NEW YORK – Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, San Jose Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau and Buffalo Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of January.
Anderson finished the month with a 5-0-1 record, ranking first in the League in save percentage (.967) and second in both goals-against average (0.99) and wins. The Park Ridge, Ill., native allowed one goal or fewer in five of his six starts and posted his 20th career shutout in a 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers Jan. 21. Anderson’s lone blemish came in a 2-1 shootout defeat against the Pittsburgh Penguins Jan. 27, a game in which he recorded a season-high 33 saves. Now in his 10th NHL season and third with Ottawa, the 31-year-old has a 136-110-31 career record with a 2.75 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 300 appearances.
Marleau led the NHL with nine goals and ranked second with 14 points as the Sharks completed a perfect 7-0-0 January. The 15-year veteran also led all skaters with five power-play goals and three game-winners. Marleau became the second player in NHL history – and first since Ottawa’s Cy Denneny in 1917-18 – to record four consecutive multi-goal games to begin a season, and became the first player in Sharks history to find the back of the net in each of the team’s first five games of a season. The 33-year-old Aneroid, Sask., native has 396-448—844 in 1,124 career games, all with San Jose.
Vanek led all skaters with 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in six contests, buoyed by a pair of five-point games. The Vienna, Austria, native opened the season with two goals and three assists in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Jan. 20 and closed the month with his eighth career hat trick and two helpers in a 7-4 triumph at the Boston Bruins Jan. 31. Vanek is the first NHL player to score five or more points twice in his team’s first seven games of a season since Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux in 1992-93. Vanek also is the first Sabre with at least two five-point games in one season since 1992-93, when Pat LaFontaine had six such outings and Alexander Mogilny had three. Now in his eighth NHL season, the 29-year-old has 236-226—462 in 553 career games.