The honors are starting to roll in for Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, as he was just named the NHL's 3rd Star of the Month for January 2012, behind John Tavares of the New York Islanders, and Pittsburgh Penguinscenter Evgeni Malkin.
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A workhorse in goal, Rinne is second in the League in games (46), minutes played (2,628), shots faced (1,374) and saves (1,269). He's currently on a 10-game winning streak and won 11 of his 12 starts in January. Rinne had a stretch of nine consecutive games allowing two goals or fewer end Tuesday, but still held the fort late as the Predators rallied for a 5-4 win against the Wild. Rinne stopped all 38 shots against Columbus on Jan. 19 for his fourth shutout of the season, and posted a .935 save percentage for the month.
"All the pieces are going really well," Rinne said last week in regards to the Preds' stellar team defense. "Just defensively as a group, we're playing solid hockey. It's not only the defensemen. A lot of it is forwards, too. They come back, they play hard and they help us down there."