MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) - Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin has won Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player for the third time during his eight-season career in the league, the NHL said on its website.
Ovechkin won back-to-back Hart Trophies in 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, and now joins the company of such NHL superstars as Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky, who have won at least three MVP awards during their careers.
The announcement came on Saturday before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals between Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks.
Ovechkin, 27, beat out New York Islanders alternate captain John Tavares and Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby in the race for the award.
The Russian power forward had 56 points in 48 games during the lockout-shortened regular season. He has previously won his third Maurice Richard Trophy as the NHL top goal-scorer with 32 points this season.
However, the Capitals were knocked out of the NHL playoffs after losing a seven-game series to the New York Rangers.
Another Russian NHL player, Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, made headlines Saturday by becoming the first Russian goalie in the history of the league to win the NHL’s top goaltender award.
Bobrovsky, 24, beat out Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks for his first Vezina Trophy.
The Russian goalie finished the year 21-11 with a .932 save percentage, good for second-best in the league, while his 2.00 goals against average was tops among goalies with more than 30 starts. He went 9-3 in April as the Blue Jackets narrowly missed the playoffs.
Bobrovsky was traded to the Blue Jackets from Philadelphia at last year’s draft. He is now a pending restricted free agent sought by KHL club SKA St. Petersburg.
Bobrovsky was cut from Russia’s national roster during the recent world hockey championship tournament over concerns he was fatigued after the intense finish of the regular NHL season.
The Russian team was plagued throughout the tournament by shaky goaltending and was hammered out of the race for the medals in a dismal 3-8 loss to the United States.