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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Bobrovsky's surge makes him Vezina frontrunner

Monday, 04.08.2013 / 9:38 AM / Trophy Tracker

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

The New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets have become intertwined over the past 10 months, having made two blockbuster trades that have resulted in eight NHL players changing sides.

With the 2012-13 season winding down, the Rangers and Blue Jackets have something else in common -- they are the homes to the League's two best goaltenders, New York's Henrik Lundqvist and Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky.

But as we hit the three-quarter mark of the schedule, it's Bobrovsky who has earned NHL.com's nod for the Vezina Trophy.

The 24-year-old Bobrovsky was acquired this past summer by then-general manager Scott Howson and has been the biggest reason for the Blue Jackets fighting for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. His record is just 13-10-6, but that's because the Blue Jackets have been one of the worst goal-scoring teams in the League.

Among goaltenders to make at least 25 starts, Bobrovsky is second in save percentage at .927 and ranks third in goals-against average at 2.12. Only three goaltenders have a better save percentage than Bobrovsky (.886) while his team has been shorthanded.

Bobrovsky has been good enough so far to win a Vezina, and if he keeps it up, he may find himself among the finalists for the Hart Trophy, too.

FINALISTS

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers -- After a rough start to the season, he leads in save percentage and isn't far behind in GAA. The defending Vezina winner has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 straight starts and, just like Bobrovsky, hasn't received much offense support and will likely be in net for his team the rest of the way.

Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins -- He doesn't get as much credit as other goaltenders as a result of playing behind one of the best blue-line groups in the NHL along with an overall defensively sound team. But when he faces 30 shots or more, Rask is 6-1-1 with a 1.97 GAA and .941 save percentage.

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It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery