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Lady Byng Trophy

Lady Byng Trophy winner to be announced before Game 4 of Semifinals

Matthews, Slavin, Spurgeon up for award given for gentlemanly play

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

Winners of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone will be announced throughout the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final.

The winner of the Lady Byng Trophy will be revealed Saturday during Game 4 of the Semifinals between the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning. The game starts at 8 p.m. ET.

Here is a look at the three finalists:  

Auston Matthews, Jaccob Slavin and Jared Spurgeon were named finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy.

The award is given annually to the player voted best to combine sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. 

Matthews led the NHL in goals (41) and game-winning goals (12) and tied for fifth in points (66) in 52 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was plus-21 averaging 21:33 of ice time per game and was assessed five minor penalties in 52 games. The center was assessed four minor penalties in 2019-20 and has 56 penalty minutes in his five-season NHL career. He never has had more than 14 penalty minutes in a season.

Matthews helped Toronto (35-14-7) finish first in the seven-team Scotia North Division and qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth straight season. It is the second time Matthews has been a finalist for the Lady Byng; he was second in the voting last season. Matthews would be the first Maple Leafs player to win the award since Alexander Mogilny in 2002-03.

Slavin, who led the Carolina Hurricanes in ice time per game (22:59) during the regular season, was assessed one minor penalty in 52 games while often playing against the opponent's top line. The defenseman scored 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) and was plus-22. He also averaged 2:43 of shorthanded ice time per game.

Slavin led Carolina (36-12-8) to first place in the eight-team Discover Central Division to qualify for the playoffs for the third straight season. A first-time finalist, he would be the first Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers player to win the award since Ron Francis in 2001-02 and the first defenseman to win it since Brian Campbell with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011-12.

Spurgeon led Minnesota Wild defensemen with 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) and was fourth on the Wild in ice time per game (22:05). He was assessed three minor penalties in 54 games. He helped Minnesota (35-16-5) qualify for the playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons. A first-time finalist, he would be the first Wild player to win the award.

Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche won the Lady Byng Trophy last season.

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