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“What’s funny is we talked earlier today, and we both agreed that we play the same way,” Boudreau said. “You sit back and go, ‘Maybe I am doing the right things.’”

His two young awards finalists were two of the biggest beneficiaries from the switch. Ovechkin had 51 goals in Boudreau’s 61 games, while Backstrom had 13 of his 14 goals and 60 of his 69 points in that span.

Backstrom, who was named to the league’s All-Rookie Team, began the season on the wing with countryman Michael Nylander’s line, and his assimilation came slowly at first. A switch back to his natural center position and Boudreau’s arrival helped spur the 20-year-old Backstrom to a franchise-best 55 assists for a rookie. Kane’s teammate, Jonathan Toews, was the other finalist.

“I talked to them a little bit,” Backstrom said of Kane and Toews. “They’ve been good for Chicago, and they’re good players. I think they’re good guys too.”

- Ovechkin received 133 of 134 first-place votes for the All-Star team. Henrik Zetterberg garnered the other first-place vote. Ovechkin received 128 of 134 first-place votes for the Hart Trophy. He was second on four ballots, third on one and was not in the top five on one ballot. He also finished ninth in the Lady Byng Trophy voting.

Caps defenseman Mike Green finished seventh in the Norris Trophy and All-Star voting, and goaltender Cristobal Huet was eighth in the Vezina Trophy voting.