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Malkin becomes latest NHL scoring champion as 2008-09 season comes to an end

The Art Ross Trophy has been handed off to Evgeni Malkin.

He officially became the eighth player in as many seasons to win the NHL's scoring title on Sunday. The Pittsburgh Penguins star finished the year with 113 points to edge Alex Ovechkin and his total of 110.

It's the 13th time in 21 seasons that a member of the Penguins has won the trophy.

The Russian compatriots now share a place in the record book. Ovechkin became the first player from that country to win the NHL's scoring title a year ago and Malkin is now No. 2.

Ovechkin still managed to get his hands on some hardware. He led the league in goals for the second straight season after scoring 56 times for the Washington Capitals to win the Maurice Richard Trophy.

There isn't a player in the league who shoots more than him. Ovechkin's 528 shots was the second-highest total in league history, falling just short of the 550 that Phil Esposito had in 1970-71.

He wasn't the only turning heads in Washington this year.

Mike Green led all defenceman in scoring with 31 goals and 73 points. That made him the first blue-liner to surpass the 30-goal plateau since Kevin Hatcher in 1992-93 and he achieved the feat in just 68 games.

The other individual trophy that was decided with the end of the regular season is heading to Boston Bruins goalies Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez.

Those two men will share the William Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders for the team that surrendered the fewest goals in the regular season. Thomas appeared in 54 games while Fernandez played in 28 as the Bruins allowed 196 goals to edge second-place Minnesota (200).

Thomas led the league in goals-against average (2.10) and save percentage (.933). Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Steve Mason was tops with 10 shutouts while Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff had the most victories (45) and appearances (76).

It turned out to be a good rookie season for Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks. He led all first-year players with 31 goals and 57 points in 64 games after starting the year in the American Hockey League.

The 22-year-old was drafted second overall behind Sidney Crosby in 2005 and will likely receive some votes for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. The winner of that award along with the league's other major individual trophies will be given out in Las Vegas on June 18.

San Jose would love to add a Stanley Cup to the Presidents' Trophy it has already captured. The Sharks earned that honour for the first time in franchise history with a record of 53-18-11. That was good for 117 points, making them one of seven teams to break the century mark.

It was another solid year at the gate for the NHL.

The league says it set an attendance record for the fourth consecutive season by drawing 21,475,223 to its 30 arenas - an increase of 1.1 per cent from 2007-08.



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