Fresh off his latest All-Star appearance, John Tavares played his final January game of the season Tuesday night. Too bad, because January is Tavares’ favorite month of the regular season.
It was Tavares’ 96th game in January out of the 558 he’s played in his career and his 46 goals and 106 points are the most in any month — next closest for the captain is October, in which he has 34 goals in 71 games.
And this January was no different. Tavares had eight goals and six assists in the 12 January games and he’d done all that without scoring a point in the first three games of the month. He got a second assist Tuesday night on Johnny Boychuk’s goal that made it 3-2 late in the third.
As for February, Tavares has 32 goals and 74 points in 79 February games over his career. Not bad, but not Tavares’ best.
Hickey, Clutterbuck sit
Thomas Hickey and Cal Clutterbuck both skated Tuesday morning but neither was in the lineup with lower-body injuries that were suffered or aggravated prior to the weekend break.
Hickey missed Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Canadiens and Clutterbuck left that game early, suffering from the same injury that kept him out for three games the week before last.
Scott Mayfield remained in the lineup in Hickey’s spot, pairing once again with fellow rookie Adam Pelech on defense.
Shane Prince, who was a healthy scratch Thursday, returned to take Clutterbuck’s roster spot and place on a line with Casey Cizikas and Nikolay Kulemin. Stephen Gionta was the lone healthy scratch.
Travis Hamonic, out since Jan. 8 with a knee injury, did not skate and there is still no timetable for his return.