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Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller named NHL's first star of the month

Atlanta Thrashers winger Ilya Kovalchuk earned second star honours while Anaheim Ducks defenceman Scott Niedermayer was named October's third star.

Starting this season, the NHL is recognizing the top three players of the month rather than handing out separate offensive and defensive awards.

Miller posted an 8-0-1 record with a 2.36 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in nine appearances as the Sabres tied an NHL record by winning their first 10 games of the season.

Kovalchuk finished October tied for second among NHL scorers with 17 points (9-8) and recorded a league-leading 67 shots.

Niedermayer led Anaheim in scoring last month with 11 points (4-7) in 12 games as the Ducks earned points in each of their first 12 games, becoming the first NHL team to accomplish the feat since the 1996-97 Florida Panthers.

Also considered for three star selection were Minnesota Wild goaltender Manny Fernandez, New York Rangers winger Jaromir Jagr, Thrashers winger Marian Hossa and Sabres winger Maxim Afinogenov.


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