Alex Ovechkin Finalist for Hart Memorial Trophy as NHL MVP

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin -- along with Penguins forward Sidney Crosby and Islanders forward John Tavares -- is a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy as NHL MVP.

“It’s nice and I’m sure I’m going to have time to celebrate later, but right now it’s all about business and focus on [Game 5],” Ovechkin said. “Hard year, it was hard season for all of us and I’m happy to be in that kind of position.”

Ovechkin finished the season with a league-leading 32 goals in 48 games, earning the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal scorer for the third time. He is a two-time MVP, having won the award in back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009.

But as Ovechkin eluded to, this season was certainly not an easy one on a personal level. Ovechkin had to adjust to a switch from the left wing to the right wing, and after a rough acclimation period, he found his stride, scoring 23 goals over the last 23 games of the regular season.

“I think after taking a lot of heat and people were on him a lot, he just turned it around and started scoring and played better," forward Nicklas Backstrom said of his linemate. “It takes a lot of courage to do that.”

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