Steven Stamkos named NHL’s First Star

TAMPA, Fla. — Steven Stamkos earned recognition for his hot February.

The NHL announced Friday that the Tampa Bay Lightning center was named the league’s “First Star” after he totaled 10 goals and 10 assists in 14 games in the month of February. He scored goals in six consecutive games from Feb. 16-26, seven total, and the feat stands as the longest streak in the NHL this season.

Stamkos’ February also included six multi-point games, and he recorded at least one point in 11 contests. He closed the month on an eight-game point streak, which has allowed him to lead the league in goals (14) and tie for the lead in points (31).

“You’re always looking to improve,” Stamkos said during training camp in January. “For me, it’s being an all-around player. As a centerman, my faceoffs have to continue to improve. I want to be a guy who can be counted on in the last minute of a tight game to be on the ice and secure that lead. That’s another step that I’m willing to take.”

The two-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner, given to the NHL’s leading goal scorer at season’s end, has 193 goals and 167 assists in 345 career games. Through 20 contests, the Lightning have 19 points, two behind Southeast Division leaders Carolina and Winnipeg.

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.