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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Ovechkin, Green, Mason vie for Fan Fav

Saturday, 02.07.2009 / 12:33 AM / Fan Fav Award

By Compiled By - NHL.com Staff

Every Saturday night throughout the regular season — coinciding with the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast on CBC and RDS — NHL representatives will evaluate NHL player performances from the week prior to select the top three NHL player performances for that week.

Fans then will have the opportunity each week to go online at http://www.fanfav-nhl.com and vote for their favorite player from amongst the three nominees.  At season's end, each winning player will be placed in a pool with the other weekly winners, from which a panel of independent NHL judges will narrow down the list to 10 finalists based on their season-long performances.  Fans will then have the opportunity to vote for their favorite NHL player from these top 10 finalists.  Exciting NHL prizes will be available to both U.S. and Canadian participants.

Our Scotiabank Fan Fav nominees this week include a pair of high-scoring teammates and one of the NHL's hottest goaltenders.

Alex Ovechkin is always a threat to make this list. A.O. had a weekend for the ages last week, scoring two goals -- one of them a highlight-reel tally -- in a 4-2 victory over Detroit on Saturday, then lit up Ottawa for three more in a 7-4 win on Sunday. He added two assists in a 5-2 win at New Jersey and became one of the youngest players in NHL history to reach the 200-goal mark when he scored Thursday night against Los Angeles.

"Alex is one of those big-game guys," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said after Saturday's win, in which Ovechkin's spectacular goal broke a 2-2 tie midway through the third period. "You keep throwing him out there and throwing (him) out there and eventually good things will happen."

As hot as Ovechkin was, teammate Mike Green was even hotter. Green took over the goal-scoring lead among defensemen by scoring once in each of the Caps' four games, giving him 17 for the season -- in just 40 games. He also had six assists, giving him 10 points for the week and a League-high 44 for the season. Green's goal Thursday night against the Kings gave him a five-game goal-scoring streak, the longest in Caps history for a defenseman.

"He scores like a forward," Boudreau said. "It's not just getting back and overpowering you with a shot. He can put it into areas that other people couldn't."

One place that most shooters are having trouble putting the puck is behind St. Louis goaltender Chris Mason. After getting off to a slow start this season, Mason's play has helped keep the Blues alive in the wild Western Conference playoff race. Mason has taken over the No. 1 goaltending job in St. Louis -- largely thanks to a week that saw him allow just three goals in 216 minutes during four appearances (0.83 goals-against average). Only a lack of goal support kept Mason's record from being better than 2-0-2.

"I'm feeling pretty good and the guys are doing a great job in front of me," Mason said after a 4-0 shutout of Philadelphia on Saturday. "They're blocking shots, letting me see pucks, clearing rebounds, letting me know where pucks are. I think it's a combination of everyone kind of getting better as we go here."

San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov didn't get to go to the All-Star Game, but he was perfect in his first two starts after the break: two wins, two shutouts, 55 shots faced, 55 shots stopped. He made 31 saves in a 3-0 victory at Colorado, then stopped all 24 Phoenix shots in a 2-0 home victory.

"He just makes us calm on the bench," forward Ryane Clowe said after the victory over Phoenix. "It's funny — you watch from the bench and see them get a scoring chance and you don't even get anxious or nervous. You feel like Nabby's got everything under control and he's going to make the save."


For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory