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Leafs’ Auston Matthews among finalists for NHL’s Lady Byng award

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, Colorado Avalanche centre Nathan MacKinnon and St. Louis Blues centre Ryan O’Reilly are the three finalists for the 2019-20 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

The award is presented annually to the player best combining sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability.

Matthews finished third in the NHL with a career-high 47 goals, one behind Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy co-winners Alex Ovechkin and David Pastrnak, while also topping the Maple Leafs with a career-best 80 points in 70 games.

The 22-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., native also established a career-low with eight penalty minutes, tied for the fewest among the NHL’s top 100 scorers. He did so while sharing second place in the League in takeaways (78) and ranking eighth among NHL forwards in total time on ice (1,467 minutes 52 seconds).

MacKinnon ranked fifth in the NHL with 93 points (35 goals, 58 assists) in 69 games to lead the Avalanche into the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The 24-year-old from Cole Harbour, N.S., registered a career-low 12 penalty minutes, the second-fewest among the league’s top 25 scorers. No other NHL forward averaged more time on ice (21:13) in 2019-20 while taking fewer penalties.

O’Reilly led the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blues with 61 points (12 goals, 49 assists) in 71 games to power the team to the highest points percentage in the Western Conference. The 29-year-old from Clinton, Ont., topped the NHL in both face-off wins (880) and face-offs taken (1,556), ranking 10th among qualifying players with a 56.6 face-off winning percentage.

Ryan, Lindblom, Johns named finalists for Masterton trophy

Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom and Dallas Stars defenceman Stephen Johns are the for the 2020 Bill Masterton Trophy.

The award is given out annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey.

Ryan entered the NHL/NHLPA Players’ Assistance program on Nov. 20 to get help for alcohol addiction. After going public with his story in an effort to help others with addiction issues, an emotional Ryan returned to the ice Feb. 27 and scored three times in a 5-2 win over visiting Vancouver.

Lindblom was diagnosed in December with Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancerous tumour that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones. He completed radiation treatments on July 2.

The rising star had 11 goals and 18 points in 30 games this season. While he has recently skated at the Flyers’ complex in Voorhees, New Jersey, he has been ruled out of playing when the NHL season resumes.

Johns missed all of last season and the first 47 games of this one with painful headaches due to post-concussion syndrome. He scored four games into his return on Feb. 3 against the Rangers, with his parents in attendance at Madison Square Garden.

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