Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos
NEW YORK (AP) - Lightning center Steven Stamkos, along with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, and center Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins are the finalists for the Hart Trophy for the NHL's most valuable player in the regular season.
The winner will be announced June 20 at the NHL awards ceremony in Las Vegas.
Stamkos led the NHL with 60 goals. He got No. 60 in Tampa Bay's finale at Winnipeg, becoming the first player to reach the milestone since 2007-08 when Alex Ovechkin scored 65.
Before Ovechkin, the last time a player hit 60 was 1995-96 (Mario Lemieux had 69; Jaromir Jagr scored 62). Stamkos tied for the NHL lead with Phoenix's Radim Vrbata in game-winning goals with 12, scored an NHL-record five overtime goals and had 48 even-strength scores, the most of any player since 1992-93.
Lundqvist, also a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for top goalie, helped the Rangers to their best regular-season record since the Stanley Cup season of 1993-94. He went 39-18-5 in 62 games, setting a career high in wins. He was third in wins, tied for third in shutouts (eight), fourth in goals-against average (1.97) and fourth in save percentage (.930).
Malkin won his second Art Ross Trophy by leading the NHL with 109 points (50 goals, 59 assists). He became the first player since 1995-96 to get five or more points at least four times in one season. Malkin also finished second in the NHL with a career-high 50 goals.