Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin looked like an odds on favorite to win the season's Hart Trophy, recognizing the NHL's most valuable player. And he claimed the prize on Wednesday night at the 2012 NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas.
Malkin scored 109 points for the Penguins this season. He was the only player in the league to finish the year with more than 100 points. He was one of two players to score at least 50 goals this season. As impressive as his point totals were, Malkin's biggest accomplishment was carrying the Penguins while Sidney Crosby was on the shelf with dealing with an injury.
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist will have to settle for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie. The Blueshirts' netminder was a runner up for the Hart Trophy, along with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Stamkos was the only player in the NHL with more goals, 60, than Malkin.