Tampa Bay Lightning right winger Nikita Kucherov of Maykop, Russia has been named the National Hockey League First Star of the Month for December. It is the fourth time in his career he has received the honour. Kucherov was previously the NHL First Star of the Month in March of 2017, December of 2018, and February of 2019.
In 14 games, Kucherov had nine goals and 19 assists for 28 points. He was a +1 with four penalty minutes, 13 power-play points, 73 shots on goal, 11 hits, and three blocked shots.
Tied Lightning record for most points in a game
Kucherov’s most notable game came on November 24 in an 8-2 Lightning win over the Carolina Hurricanes. He had two goals and four assists for six points. The six points tied the Lightning franchise record for most points in a single game. The only other Lightning player to have six points in a game was defenseman Doug Crossman of Peterborough, Ontario, who had three goals and three assists in a 6-5 Lightning over the New York Islanders on November 7, 1992.
Five Point Game
In addition to the six-point game against Carolina, Kucherov also notched five points in a 6-4 Lightning win over the Ottawa Senators on November 4. He had one goal and four assists.
Kucherov’s 2023-24 NHL season
So far in 2023-24, Kucherov leads the NHL in points with 39 and 111 shots on goal. He has three more points than Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller of East Palestine, Ohio, who is second on the list with 36 points, and eight more shots than Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who is second on the list with 103 shots. Kucherov has 15 goals and 24 assists. He is a -1 with eight penalty minutes, 19 power play points, one game-winning goal, nine blocked shots, 13 hits, 16 takeaways and 28 giveaways. Kucherov’s game-winning goal came on October 19 in a 4-3 Lightning win over the Vancouver Canucks. Kucherov scored from Nick Paul of Mississauga, Ontario and Brayden Point of Calgary, Alberta.