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Ovechkin and Boudreau honored in Caps' big night

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TORONTO (AP) -Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals earned plenty of consolation prizes in a season that produced a first-round playoff exit.

Ovechkin won the Hart Trophy and The Lester B. Pearson Award on Thursday night, honoring his MVP season that produced NHL highs with 65 goals and 112 points.

Ovechkin edged finalists Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins for both honors. The Hart is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, while the Pearson is given out by the NHL Players' Association.

"I think I'm the happiest 22-year-old guy on the planet," Ovechkin said. "Everything I've got I make myself. I'm working hard and I know it's improving."

Ovechkin was the first player to score 60 goals since Mario Lemieux in 1996. He joined Sergei Fedorov (1994) as the only Russian-born players to win the Hart and the Pearson.

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau, hired during the season after Washington's woeful start, earned the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top bench boss. The only damper on the evening in the nation's capital came when Nicklas Backstrom was edged by Chicago's Patrick Kane for rookie of the year.

Boudreau, who led the Capitals to the Southeast Division title, beat out Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings and Guy Carbonneau of the Montreal Canadiens.

The 53-year-old Boudreau took over a team that was last in the Eastern Conference in late November and led them to the playoffs for the first time since 2003. The Capitals went 37-17-7 after he was hired on Nov. 22, and he reached 20 and 30 wins faster than any coach in franchise history.

The Capitals let Glen Hanlon go after the team got off to its slowest start in 26 years and hired Boudreau on an interim basis.

Babcock guided the Red Wings to their third straight 50-win season and was nominated for the award for the first time. Voting was done by select members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association before Babcock led Detroit to the Stanley Cup.

Washington's run of awards was stopped when the 18-year-old Kane won the Calder Trophy over Backstrom.

Kane led rookies with 72 points, including 21 goals. He is the first Blackhawks player to win the trophy since goalie Ed Belfour in the 1990-91 season. Kane, who had the best first month by a rookie since 1992 when he posted 16 points in October, topped Chicago linemate Jonthan Toews and Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom for the award.

Toews led rookies with 24 goals despite missing more than a month due to a knee injury. Backstrom was second in rookie scoring with 69 points.

Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom completed his second hat trick in Norris Trophy competition when he was named as the league's top defenseman for the third straight season and sixth overall. That moved him into third place behind Bobby Orr (8) and Doug Harvey (7) and snapped a tie with another Hall of Famer Ray Bourque.

"He's the best player on our team," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

Lidstrom, 38, led defensemen in scoring with 70 points - including 60 assists - in 76 games and led the position with a plus-40 rating. Since he began his NHL career in 1991-92, Lidstrom has the highest rating at plus-378.

Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins and Dion Phaneuf of the Calgary Flames were the other finalists, but the winner was never in doubt. Lidstrom has taken the award in six of seven seasons, a run interrupted by New Jersey's Scott Niedermayer in 2004.

Lidstrom has also been nominated nine times in the last 10 years. He became the first European captain of a Stanley Cup winner last week when he lifted the trophy for a fourth time.

Another familiar winner was New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, chosen as the NHL's top goalie for the fourth time in five seasons. Despite not capturing the award for the first time until 2003, his 10th full season, his four Vezina Trophies are second only to the six won by recently retired Dominik Hasek since general managers started voting in 1982.

Brodeur became the second goalie in NHL history to reach the 500-win mark this season and finished the year with 96 career shutouts - seven shy of leader Terry Sawchuk.

He reached 40 wins for the third straight year and the seventh time in his career. Brodeur had a 44-27-6 record with a 2.17 goals-against average and four shutouts.

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was a finalist for the third straight season, and San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov - who led the NHL with 46 wins - was a first time finalist.

In other awards, Jason Blake of the Toronto Maple Leafs, diagnosed with leukemia just before the start of the regular season, received the Bill Masterton Trophy as the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

He lost 10 pounds after starting to receive treatment, but didn't miss a game.

"There's lots of guys that go through certain things throughout their career and you've got to give them credit," Blake said. "I was very fortunate to play all 82 games and compete at the highest level.

"It's a great honor."

He topped 46-year-old Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios and Edmonton Oilers forward Fernando Pisani for the award, which was voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

Blake, 34, took a blood test during a preseason physical and was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a rare but treatable form of cancer.

He started taking medication and had to battle weight loss while going through the tough NHL season. Physically, that was the toughest thing he had to overcome.

Blake finished with 15 goals and 52 points - a severe dropoff from the season before with the New York Islanders when he netted 40 goals and 69 points.

"I just want to make sure that I'm back where I was two years ago," Blake said. "I think that's the main thing right now."

Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings took the Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward. Along with teammate Henrik Zetterberg, also a finalist, Datsyuk helped shut down Crosby and the top line of the Penguins during the finals.

Datsyuk led the league with a plus-41 rating and won the award for the first time, finishing in front of Zetterberg and New Jersey's John Madden.

The 29-year-old center also won the Lady Byng Trophy as the player who best demonstrates sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. Datsyuk is the first player in 73 years to win the award three seasons in a row, dating to Frank Boucher of the New York Rangers, who captured it from 1933-35.

But the Russian playmaker figures it might be his last time taking home the trophy. He threw his weight around during the finals and scuffled with Pittsburgh's Gary Roberts in Game 2.

"Next year I don't think I will win this," said Datsyuk, who had 20 penalty minutes in 82 games and a career-high 97 points.

Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jason Pominville of the Buffalo Sabres were the other finalists.

Datsyuk had 31 goals and 97 points for his best offensive season but also led the NHL in takeaways with 144. Mike Modano was next best with 86.

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