NEW YORK (April 12, 2015) – The 2014-15 National Hockey League regular season concluded on Saturday with Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn capturing his first career Art Ross Trophy as the League’s scoring champion, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin claiming his fifth career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s goal-scoring leader and Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens winning the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltender(s) who play at least 25 games for the club allowing the fewest goals. Two races – for the Art Ross Trophy and William M. Jennings Trophy – came down to the final moments of the regular season.
Benn entered the final day of the regular season third in the League scoring race with 83 points, one behind Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby and New York Islanders forward John Tavares. Benn moved to the front by tallying four points (3-1–4) in a 4-1 win over Nashville, including a goal and an assist in the final 2:05 of the third period. His late surge increased his season total to 87 points (35-52--87), one more than Tavares (38-48–86), who notched a goal and an assist in a 5-4 shootout loss to Columbus, and three more than Crosby (28-56–84), who did not record a point in his team's 2-0 win at Buffalo that clinched the Penguins a playoff berth. Benn, the first player in Stars history to win the scoring title, notched multiple points in five of his final six games of the season (7-8–15), including 10 points in his last three contests. The Stars captain established career highs in goals, assists and points, ahead of his previous highs of 34, 45 and 79, respectively, set in 2013-14.
Ovechkin scored 53 goals to capture his third consecutive and fifth overall Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, adding to the ones he earned in 2007-08, 2008-09, 2012-13 and 2013-14. Ovechkin became the sixth player in NHL history to record six 50-goal seasons, joining Mike Bossy (9), Wayne Gretzky (9), Marcel Dionne (6), Guy Lafleur (6) and Mario Lemieux (6). He also led the League and set a career high/franchise record with 25 power-play goals, while his 11 game-winning goals paced the NHL and matched a personal best. Ovechkin, who finished 2014-15 ahead of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (43) and New York Rangers forward Rick Nash (42), scored 41 of his 53 goals in the final 55 games of season (0.75 GPG). He posted his 473rd and 474th career goals on April 2 to surpass Peter Bondra (472) as the leading goal-scorer in Capitals history.
The Blackhawks and Canadiens finished the regular season tied with a League-low 189 goals allowed, and Crawford and Price saw the most action for their respective teams. This marks the first time that goaltenders on two teams claimed the Jennings Trophy since 2002-03, when New Jersey's Martin Brodeur and Philadelphia's Roman Cechmanek and Robert Esche captured Jennings honors after the Devils and Flyers tied for the League's lowest goals-against total.
Crawford captured the Jennings Trophy for the second time in three seasons (also 2012-13), posting a 32-20-5 record with a 2.27 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and two shutouts in 57 appearances. He allowed two goals or fewer in each of his final four starts of the regular season from April 2-9.
Price, who won his first career Jennings Trophy, set a franchise record for victories by going 44-16-6, surpassing the previous mark of 42 achieved twice by Jacques Plante (1955-56 and 1961-62) and once by Ken Dryden (1975-76). He led the NHL in wins, goals-against average (1.96) and save percentage (.933), and shared second place in shutouts (nine).