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Three finalists named for Vezina Trophy

The SportsXchange

Goaltenders Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks were named finalists for the Vezina Trophy on Wednesday

The award is given annually to the top goalie in the NHL. Voting is done by general managers from the 30 NHL teams. The winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup Finals.

For the first time, all three finailists are European natives.

Bobrovsky, 24, helped the Blue Jackets to the brink of the playoffs in his first season with the team. The Russian native went 18-5-3 in his final 26 games and finished the season 21-11-6. The undrafted free agent, who originally signed with Philadelphia, ranked second second in the league with a .932 save percentage and fifth with a 2.00 goals-against average.

No Russian-born goalie has won the Vezina.

Lundqvist, 31, won the award last year and is a finalist for the fifth time. He tied for Niemi for the league lead in wins this season with 24.

Niemi, 29, tied for second in shutouts during the regular season with four. If he wins, he would become the second Finnish-born goalie to receive the honor (Miikka Kiprusoff, 2006).

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