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Matthews, McDavid and Shesterkin Named NHL ‘Three Stars’ for February

NEW YORK – Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin – who each began February by participating in the 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend – have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of February.

FIRST STAR – AUSTON MATTHEWS, C, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Matthews paced the NHL with 13 goals in 12 contests (13-7—20) to lift the Maple Leafs (34-17-8, 76 points) into third place in the Atlantic Division on the strength of a 9-3-0 February, the third-best record in the League. Matthews, who started the month by earning All-Star Game MVP honors in front of his home fans at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, reached the 50-goal milestone in his 54th game of 2023-24 (Feb. 21 at ARI) to become the fastest NHL player to achieve the feat since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 (50 GP w/ PIT). Matthews, who also placed among the February leaders in power-play goals (t-1st; 5), even-strength goals (2nd; 8), points (3rd; 20), power-play points (t-4th; 8), shots on goal (t-5th; 50), game-winning goals (t-7th; 2) and plus/minus (t-12th; +8), scored in eight of his 12 appearances during the month. That included a five-game goal streak from Feb. 15-22 (10-3—13) that saw him become the second Maple Leafs player in the League’s modern era (since 1943-44) to produce at least 10 goals over a span of five contests, after Rick Vaive from Dec. 29, 1982 – Jan. 6, 1983 (11-1—12 in 5 GP). That stretch also featured back-to-back hat tricks, Feb. 15 vs. PHI (3-0—3) and Feb. 17 vs. ANA (3-2—5), the second time Matthews has produced hat tricks in consecutive contests this season (also Oct. 11-14). He became the fifth player in NHL history to register hat tricks in consecutive games multiple times within a single season, joining Wayne Gretzky (1983-84 w/ EDM), Mike Bossy (1980-81 w/ NYI), Joe Malone (1917-18 w/ MTL) and Reg Noble (1917-18 w/ TAN). Matthews also set a franchise record and became the 10th different player in League history – and first Lemieux in 1995-96 – with at least six hat tricks in a single campaign. The 26-year-old Matthews, who already owns two Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies (2021-22 and 2020-21), tops the League with 53 goals – 12 more than the next-closest player – through 58 total appearances this season (53-25—78). He also ranks among the 2023-24 leaders in even-strength goals (1st; 38), power-play goals (t-2nd; 15), shots on goal (4th; 248), game-winning goals (t-5th; 7), points (8th; 78) and plus/minus (t-9th; +22).

SECOND STAR – CONNOR McDAVID, C, EDMONTON OILERS

McDavid registered a League-leading 25 assists (eight more than the next-closest player) and 27 points (six more than the next-closest player) in 12 games (2-25—27) to propel the Oilers (35-20-2, 72 points) within one point of second place in the Pacific Division via a 6-5-1 month. The Edmonton captain, who began February by winning the revamped 2024 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook, became the first NHL player to collect at least 25 assists in a calendar month since Mario Lemieux in December 1992 (8-28—36 in 12 GP w/ PIT). McDavid found the scoresheet in all but one of his February appearances, producing nine multi-point performances – highlighted by six straight to close the month (Feb. 19-28: 1-12—13). That span also included six consecutive multi-assist outings, tied for the second-longest such run in League history behind only Wayne Gretzky in 1984-85 (Nov. 17 – Dec. 7: 8-20—28 in 8 GP w/ EDM). Among McDavid’s February achievements, he became the fourth-fastest player in NHL history to accumulate 600 career assists (616 GP), following Gretzky (416 GP), Lemieux (514 GP) and Bobby Orr (608 GP); the sixth player to record at least eight straight 90-point seasons as well as the sixth player to notch at least four consecutive 70-assist campaigns; the fastest player to reach the 70-assist mark in a season (54 GP) since Lemieux in 1995-96 (50 GP w/ PIT); and the 13th player to score at least 16 career overtime goals, a number he achieved in his final contest of the month (Feb. 28 vs. STL). The 27-year-old McDavid, who also became the fifth different player in Oilers history with a six-assist performance (Feb. 13 vs. DET) and finished February on a nine-game assist/point streak (Feb. 13-28: 1-22—23), sits third in the League with 22-72—94 through 55 total contests as he pursues his fourth straight and sixth overall Art Ross Trophy.

THIRD STAR – IGOR SHESTERKIN, G, NEW YORK RANGERS

Shesterkin topped the NHL with seven wins in as many appearances, compiling a 1.72 goals-against average, .953 save percentage and one shutout to power the Rangers (40-17-3, 83 points) to a League-best 10-1-0 month as they moved within one point of first place in the overall standings. Shesterkin, who matched a career high with his seven straight victories (also Dec. 31, 2021 – Jan. 24, 2022, and Jan. 31 – Feb. 22, 2020), yielded one or fewer goals in five of his seven February starts. That included his 12th career shutout (Feb. 12 vs. CGY: 29 SV) as well as four straight games with one goal against to close the month (Feb. 20-28: .974 SV%). Shesterkin also made at least 30 saves five times, earned a victory in his outdoor game debut at the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series (Feb. 18 at NYI) and picked up his third career assist (Feb. 22 at NJD). The 28-year-old Shesterkin has played in 39 total games this season (26-12-1), ranking sixth in the League in wins to go along with a 2.65 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and one shutout.

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