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Crosby, Getzlaf, Giroux named finalists for NHL's Hart Trophy

Anaheim Ducks right wing Devante Smith-Pelly (77) celebrates with his teammate Ryan Getzlaf (15) after Smith-Pelly scored a goal during the third period of Game 6 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series against the Dallas Stars in Dallas, Sunday, April 27, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

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Anaheim Ducks right wing Devante Smith-Pelly (77) celebrates with his teammate Ryan Getzlaf (15) after Smith-Pelly scored a goal during the third period of Game 6 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series against the Dallas Stars in Dallas, Sunday, April 27, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers are the three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy.

The the NHL awards the trophy annually "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team." It essentially serves as the league's MVP award.

Crosby scored 36 goals and led the league in assists (68) and points (104) to capture his second career Art Ross Trophy and lead the Penguins to their second consecutive division title.

He registered points in 60 of the 80 games he played in (75 per cent), including 30 multi-point performances, and never went more than two consecutive games without registering a point.

Crosby also reached the 100-point milestone for the fifth time hit 700 career points in his 497th game, the fastest among active players and sixth-fastest in NHL history.

The 26-year-old Cole Harbour, N.S., native is a Hart Trophy finalist for the fourth time after winning the award in 2006-07 and finishing as a runner-up in 2009-10 and 2012-13.

Getzlaf scored a career-high 31 goals and ranked second in the League with 87 points to lead the Ducks to the top record in the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history. He posted a 14-game point streak from Nov. 15-Dec. 15 (six goals, 11 assists). Getzlaf also set a career high with seven game-winning goals and recorded a plus-28 defensive rating.

The 28-year-old Regina native is a Hart Trophy finalist for the first time.

Giroux matched a career high with 28 goals and finished third in the NHL scoring race with 86 points to help the Flyers bounce back from a 3-9-0 start to the season.

After being held pointless in his first five games and not scoring a goal until his 16th, Giroux totalled 28 goals and 51 assists in his final 67 games of the season.

He also compiled a career-long, nine-game point streak Dec. 11-30, (six goals, 11 assists) and recorded his 100th NHL goal Dec. 19.

The 26-year-old Hearst, Ont., native is a Hart Trophy finalist for the first time.

The award is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. The winner will be announced June 24 during the 2014 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

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