New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, New York Islanders captain John Tavares and Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin have been named finalists for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player.
Price, who is already a candidate for the Vezina Trophy, led the NHL in wins (44), goals-against average (1.96) and save percentage (.933), becoming the first goaltender to pace the League in all three categories since Chicago's Ed Belfour in 1990-91.
He's the first goaltender to earn a Hart nod since Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers in 2012. With dual nominations for best goaltender and league MVP, Price can match former Habs netminder Jose Theodore who was the last to win both back in 2002.
Tavares set career highs in goals (38) and points (86) to finish second in the Art Ross Trophy race and lead the Islanders to their best regular-season record since appearing in the last of five straight Stanley Cup Finals in 1983-84. He also scored four overtime goals to establish a single-season franchise record and Islanders career record (8). Tavares is a Hart finalist for the second time after finishing third in voting two years ago.
Ovechkin regained his offensive touch, scoring 53 goals to capture his third consecutive and fifth overall "Rocket" Richard Trophy. The dynamic Russian became the sixth player in NHL history to record six 50-goal seasons, while leading the league and setting a career high and franchise record with 25 power-play goals. Ovechkin is a Hart finalist for the fifth time. He won in 2008, '09 and '13.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists.
The winner will be announced June 24 during the NHL's awards ceremony in Las Vegas.