Spezza named NHL’s first star of the month for after notching 25 points

NEW YORK – Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza is the NHL’s first star of the month after he recorded a league-best 25 points in December.

Detroit Red Wings centre Pavel Datsyuk was the second star of the month while San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov earned third star honours.

Spezza had 10 goals and 15 assists last month as the Senators went 9-3-2 and extended their lead in the Eastern Conference standings. Spezza recorded points in 13 of 14 games, including nine multiple-point performances. He also had a 10-game point streak from Dec. 12 to 29.

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Datsyuk ranked third among NHL scorers for the month with 22 points. He recorded points in 11 of 14 games as the Red Wings went 12-2-1 in December, improving their NHL-best record to 29-8-3.

Nabokov posted a 10-4-1 record, 1.96 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 15 games last month. He allowed two goals or fewer in 11 of 15 contests. The only goaltender to start each of his club’s games this season, Nabokov has posted a 22-12-5 record, 1.99 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and five shutouts in 39 games.