NHL awards night approaches
The L.A. Kings may have been crowned Stanley Cup Champions last week but Wednesday night will reveal the NHL's most valuable player in a highly anticipated battle between three of the league's best.
Evegeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins is up against New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos.
Malkin carried the Penguins to the playoffs despite the loss of captain and NHL golden boy Sidney Crosby for 60 games. He also led the league with 108 points.
"He's been dominant on the ice. He's been good at both ends of the rink and he's been maybe the best player, the most dominant player, in the league," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said of his star player.
Stamkos, meanwhile, became the 20th player ever to score 60 goals, which he hit on the last day of the season. He finished the season second in scoring behind Malkin with 97 points.
Lundqvist, who is also a contender for the Vezina Trophy which is given to the League's best goalie, had the best save percentage in the league among starting goalies at .930. He was second in goals against average with 1.97, and third in wins with 39. He became just the eighth goalie since 1980 to nominated for MVP honors.
"I never really thought about that (being a finalist for the Hart)," Lundqvist told NHL.com. "That's just a big bonus. It's a pretty amazing feeling."
All three are also up for the Ted Lindsay Award which is voted on by the players for the league's most outstanding player.