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John Tavares is January’s first star

2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 29: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders and Team Alfredsson looks on against Team Chara during the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Place on January 29, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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It turned out to be quite a month for John Tavares. Not only was he named to his first All-Star Game, he took home top honors from the NHL as the league’s first star for January.

In 13 games, Tavares scored nine goals and added 13 assists in helping the Islanders climb out of the Eastern Conference basement. Perhaps the biggest compliment for Tavares comes from who he beat out to take the first star.

Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin was the league’s second star and after the highlight reel stuff he’s provided this season, his January was just as impressive putting up 12 goals including three game-winners. His 16 points in the month helped lead the Penguins to a nine-game win streak that continues to roll on into February.

Nashville’s Pekka Rinne was no slouch either as the NHL’s third star. Rinne has helped the Predators storm towards the Western Conference lead by going on a 10-game win streak and winning 11 out of 12 starts in January. Rinne held opponents to two goals or less in nine straight games during the month and hasn’t slowed down.

While Malkin’s month may have been flashier and Rinne’s was Atlas-like in holding up the Predators, Tavares’ work on Long Island isn’t going unnoticed by the league.