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Datsyuk goes for awards winning streak

by Andrea Nelson / Detroit Red Wings
Pavel Datsyuk will learn tonight whether or not he'll win his fourth Selke Trophy at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas. (Photo by Getty Images)

The Red Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk will find out tonight if he can keep Detroit’s 11-year award-winning streak by becoming the 34th Frank J. Selke Trophy recipient.

The Wings have had at least one NHL award winner from 2000-11, which is an NHL record. Datsyuk is the only player nominated for a major award from the 2011-12 team.

A win at the NHL Awards Show would be Datsyuk’s fourth Selke, the trophy given annually to the game’s best defensive forward. He has been a Selke finalist for the past five seasons, winning the trophy three times from 2008-10.

A fourth Selke Trophy would tie Datsyuk with Hall of Famer Bob Gainey for the most times capturing the award. Gainey, who spent his entire 16-season NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens, won the Selke from 1978-81 in the first four years of the award’s inception.

With his three Selke wins, Datsyuk joins fellow Russian Sergei Fedorov (1994, 1996) as the only Wings’ forwards to win the Selke more than once. Steve Yzerman (2000) and Kris Draper (2004) also received the award.

A knee injury requiring surgery in February kept Datsyuk out of Detroit’s lineup for 11 games. But despite the injury, he returned to finish the season second on the team in scoring with 67 points. It marked the seventh time in the last eight seasons that he scored at least 65 points.

The two-time Stanley Cup champion also finished first in assists with 48 and returned to the NHL’s top 10 in faceoffs after winning 56.2 percent. It was the eighth consecutive season he finished above 53 percent.

In the league, Datsyuk finished first with 1.38 takeaways per game and third with 97 steals.

After Detroit was eliminated from the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Datsyuk chased after a different championship playing for Russia in the World Championship in Finland. Datsyuk scored a goal to help propel his country past Slovakia in the finals for his first gold medal.

The Wings’ center is up for the Selke against Boston center Patrice Bergeron and St. Louis forward David Backes.

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