Malkin latest in line of Pittsburgh's Art Ross winners
Evgeni Malkin has become the fourth Pittsburgh Penguins player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading score.
Malkin secure his first scoring title after his 35th goal during Pittsburgh's 3-1 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Malkin concluded the regular season with 113 points, three ahead Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.
"It's my third year playing in the NHL and I understand how to play here," an elated Malkin said. "My English is a little bit better and my game is better."
Ovechkin, who missed three games, finished second despite having a higher points-per-game average over Malkin.
Malkin played in all 82 regular season games and had been targeting the honour from the beginning of the campaign.
"All season I've wanted to win it," he said. "I had a good summer working out and felt great all season. I started well, and now here I am."
Posted point-scoring streaks
Malkin only failed to register a point in 18 games this season, while posting point streaks of 13, 10 and nine games.
The Penguins continue to dominate the award, winning nine of the last 14 times. Malkin joins Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and captain Sidney Crosby in this exclusive club.
Since Lemieux's first Art Ross in 1988, there have been 13 Pittsburgh winners.
"In the last 20 years, how many guys from Pittsburgh have won it? It's pretty amazing," Crosby said.
"Now he can put his name on that list. It's a special accomplishment and well-deserved. It's nice to have it in Pittsburgh."
Ovechkin takes second Richard Trophy
Ovechkin didn't go empty-handed, winning his second consecutive Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy as the leading NHL goal scorer, with 56 goals. The Russian sniper tallied 10 more goals than Philadelphia's Jeff Carter, and also became the first back-to-back winner since fellow Russian Pavel Bure did it with the Florida Panthers in 2000 and 2001.
Ovechkin reached the 50-goal milestone for the third time in his career. Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne is the only other active player to have pulled off the same feat.
"Alex is a good player, and in the last five games he played awesome," Malkin said. "Every game he had three or four points. It made for a good scoring race, but it was better for me."
Bruins claim Jennings Trophy
The Jennings Trophy, given to the team with the fewest goals allowed, went to Boston's goaltending tandem of Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez.
Thomas appeared in 54 games and Fernandez in 28. They guided the stingy Bruins, who surrendered only 196 goals to edge out the second-place Minnesota Wild (200).
Thomas captured his first career Jennings Trophy, while Fernandez earned his second. Fernandez teamed with Niklas Backstrom to win as members of the Wild in 2006-07.
All three trophies will be presented at the 2009 NHL Awards, to be held for the first time in Las Vegas on Thursday, June 18.
Malkin and Ovechkin are almost certainly guaranteed to be nominated as finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy as most valuable player, a title won last year by Ovechkin.
With files from the Associated Press