CHICAGO -- Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins were two of the best players in the NHL this season and were recognized for their efforts Saturday night.
Ovechkin beat out Crosby and John Tavares of the New York Islanders to take home his third Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player as decided by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Ovechkin became one of 10 players in the history of the award to win it more than two times.
The Hart and Lindsay were two of five prizes handed out Saturday during an NHL Awards show at United Center before the start of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the League's outstanding defenseman. Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau claimed the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie. Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets took home the Vezina Trophy as top goalie.
Ovechkin had an unbelievable finishing kick to his season, scoring 24 goals in his final 23 games to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the League's top goal-scorer with 32. His renaissance allowed the Capitals to turn around their season and win the Southeast Division and the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Washington was knocked out of the postseason in a seven-game loss to the New York Rangers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Ovechkin finished third in points (56), first in power-play goals (16) and first in shots on goal (220).
"Big thanks to my linemates, teammates," Ovechkin said on NBC Sports Network. "All the coaching staff, trainers, they do a great job, especially the coaching staff. They put me on the right wing, so it was kind of hard. But as everybody knows, I like the challenges. It was a big challenge for me and the coaching staff, but we [made] it."
Ovechkin totaled 1,090 points in the voting by the writers, to 1,058 for Crosby (points were allocated on a 10-7-5-3-1 basis for first through fifth place). The margin of 32 points from a record-setting 179 ballots was the closest Hart Trophy race since Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore and Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla finished in a tie in 2002 (with Theodore winning the award by having the greater number of first-place votes).
"I'm not going to get too upset over the fact I didn't win it," Crosby said of the Hart. "I was in the mix. Alex had a great second half there, [I] ended up getting hurt and missing some time there. That's how it works sometimes."
Crosby, who won his first Lindsay award in 2006, returned to his dominating ways this season, leading the League in scoring until a broken jaw cost him the final dozen games of the season and one playoff game.
In 36 games, Crosby had 56 points, including 41 assists, which was the second-highest total in the League this season (St. Louis had 43). Crosby was a plus-26, the fourth-best mark. He is one of three players to win multiple Lindsay Awards since 2000, joining Jaromir Jagr and Ovechkin.
"It's nice to be recognized by the guys you compete against night in, night out," Crosby said. "That's a compliment to know that that's the way they see you as a player, to have that much respect for your season and what you did. I think that means a lot. I think any player will tell you that and I think it's special that we do have that award. I think it's an honor for anyone who's able to win it."
Subban claimed the prize with his best season to date, leading defensemen in goals (11) and tied for the lead in points (38) with Letang. Subban's plus-16 rating was in the top-10 among defenseman, and his seven power-play goals trailed only the eight scored by teammate Andrei Markov.
"We all play for different teams and we all play different styles," Subban said. "Every player's different in their own way. Both Kris Letang and Ryan Suter were both deserving of the award, and I'm sure you could make an argument that there were lots of other defensemen in the League that could've been up for the award this year. I just feel very privileged and honored to have won it, and a lot of the credit deserves to go to my teammates."
Bobrovsky had a first season in Columbus that won't soon be forgotten. Traded from the Philadelphia Flyers during the summer, Bobrovsky went 21-11-6 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. He also had four shutouts. Those numbers were good enough to beat out Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, who was the reigning Vezina winner.
Bobrovsky is the first Russian to win the Vezina.
"When I was traded to Columbus, I didn't think of what people say or what people think," Bobrovsky said through a translator. "The most important thing for me was to concentrate [on] 'How can I help this team? What can I do better, how can I prepare myself to make this team even better?' That was my main focus.
"Without question, there's still a lot more work to be done and this is not my final stage. I can be even better and I'm going to be better."
Huberdeau is the first Florida Panthers player to win the Calder Trophy.
"It was a surprise … I didn't know I was going to win it," Huberdeau said. "There were a lot of good rookies this year. Gallagher had a great season, as well as Saad too. I wasn't expecting anything and I'm glad that I won it."
The NHL presented eight awards Friday night. Those winners were: