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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Jason Pominville (Photo: Getty Images)
Jason Pominville didn’t leave the NHL Awards Show with any hardware.

Arguably the most approachable and down-to-earth player on the Sabres lineup, Pominville was defeated by perennial Lady Byng Trophy winner Pavel Datsyuk on Thursday night. 

Joining Pominville and Datsyuk on the ballot was Martin St. Louis.

Had he won, Pominville would have become just the second Sabres player to win the award, presented annually to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.

Gilbert Perreault captured the Lady Byng in the 1972-73 season. 

"I think if there’s a guy that plays the game hard and plays it in all areas of the ice and is a classy guy off the ice, as well as the way he plays on the ice, it’s very well deserved," said head coach Lindy Ruff. 

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Lady Byng Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters announced as finalists.

Pominville played in all 82 games for the second straight year, and finished second on the team in scoring by posting career-highs in assists (53) and points (80) along with a team-leading plus-16 rating. His final total of 20 penalty minutes was the lowest of his career, as he picked up minor penalties in just eight of 82 games.

Pominville, Datsyuk (20) and St. Louis (26) had the three lowest PIM totals of all players ranked among the Top 20 in league scoring.

Named as Buffalo’s captain for the final two months of the season, Pominville was the team’s most consistent point producer as he collected points in 55 of 82 games. This includes a career-high consecutive game point streak of 10 games from Feb. 17-Mar.5, along with two other streaks of seven and eight games.

Pominville placed near the top of the NHL scoring charts after the All-Star break, notching 42 points over his final 34 contests; only Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin (49), Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (47) and Sabres linemate Derek Roy (44) tallied more. During these 34 games, Pominville was assessed a total of just five minor penalties.

A native of Repentigny, Que., Pominville has elected to use his dual citizenship status to play for the United States in the 2008 World Hockey Championships that begin on May 2 in Halifax, N.S.
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