(Photo: allhabs.net)

The end of November means several things for the hockey world: the season’s first quarter closes, failed mustaches across the league finally get shaved, and the NHL names its monthly Three Stars.

The results are in, and these three players ranked at the top of the NHL as we move into December:

FIRST STAR – MARK GIORDANO, D, CALGARY FLAMES

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Giordano, 31, led all NHL defensemen with 16 points in 13 games during the month of November and tied for sixth in the NHL in this respect.  He finished the month with a +12 rating in addition to 12 assists and a game-winning goal (Nov. 13 vs. Arizona). Giordano opened the month with a seven-game point streak, and he reached the 20-point mark in his 18th game of the season–the fastest Flames defenseman to do so since Al MacInnis (1993-1994 season).

Giordano currently sits at 13th place overall for points with 25 (6G, 19A) with a +14 rating.  He leads all defenseman in points and is second for blueliners in the plus/minus column.  The Flames (15-8-2) put up a 9-4-0 record in November and are ranked tenth in the league as of December 1 (third in the Pacific Division).

SECOND STAR – VLADIMIR TARASENKO, RW, ST. LOUIS BLUES

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Tarasenko, 22, registered 10 goals and 7 assists during the month, ranking second in the league for points (17) in November.  He began the month with a four-game point streak and scored in 9 of 15 games, including two game-winning goals (Nov. 4 @ New Jersey, Nov. 28 vs. Edmonton).  Additionally, Tarasenko scored two game-deciding shootout goals (Nov. 3 @ New York Rangers, Nov. 29 @ Minnesota).  He put up six multi-point games throughout the month.

Tarasenko is currently tied for fourth place overall for goals (14), second place for plus/minus (+17), fourth for shots on goal (91), and seventh for total points (26).  The Blues (16-6-2) posted an 11-3-1 record in November and are tied with several other teams for first place in the NHL as of December 1 (second in Central Division).

THIRD STAR – PEKKA RINNE, G, NASHVILLE PREDATORS

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Rinne, 32, led the NHL with 10 wins in the month of November, and he put up impressive numbers for his goals-against average (1.70) and save percentage (.938).  He registered his 34th career shutout on Nov. 27 (vs. Edmonton) and allowed two or fewer goals in 9 of 11 starts.  He posted two 30-plus save performances within the month (Nov. 6 @ Dallas, Nov. 27 vs. Edmonton).

Rinne currently leads the NHL with 16 wins in 20 appearances, and his 1.82 GAA and .933 SV% rank second overall.  He has also won his past six games, which is Rinne’s longest winning streak since the 2011-2012 season.  The Predators (16-5-2) put up a 10-3-0 November record and sit at the top of the NHL rankings with several other teams as of December 1 (first in Central Division).

Stephanie is currently a student at Roger Williams University and is working toward a BFA in Creative Writing and Film. She is hoping to pursue a master's degree in Sports Journalism after graduating. Stephanie is a former basketball player and now enjoys writing from the sidelines (though she wouldn't be opposed to watching from a press box). She quite literally turned into a full-fledged hockey fan overnight, and she is the lone Rangers/Blackhawks fan in a family of hardcore Bruins fans. During the offseason, she enjoys writing, film, traveling, and theatre. Twitter: @stephanielynn_

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