Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin originally wasn't behind his shift from right wing to left wing, but it appears his coach, Adam Oates, was pretty smart after all.
After leading the League in goals in 2012-13 and winning his third Hart Trophy, Ovechkin received one more honor -- First-Team All-Star right wing, as the League announced its First- and Second All-Star teams Wednesday.
Voting for the teams is done by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association in a poll taken at the end of the regular season.
It's the sixth First-Team All-Star nod for Ovechkin in his eight NHL seasons -- the previous five came at left wing.
After a slow start adjusting to his new position, Ovechkin came on strong with 23 goals in his final 23 games to finish with a League-best 32, while also finishing tied for third in the League with 56 points. He won the Rocket Richard Trophy for the third time and then won his third Hart Trophy as the League's most valuable player.
Ovechkin becomes the second player in League history to be named a First Team All-Star at multiple positions, joining Mark Messier, who was named to the squad twice as a left wing (1980-81, 1981-82) and twice as a center (1989-90, 1991-92).
Joining Ovechkin as a First-Team All-Star is Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, who received the honor for the second time. Crosby, who won the Ted Lindsay Award (most valuable player as voted on by the players) and was a Hart Trophy finalist, finished tied for third in the League with 56 points in 36 games. He was the League's leading scorer until missing the final month of the season with a broken jaw.
Joining Ovechkin and Crosby on the First All-Star team are four first-timers -- Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz, defensemen P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild, and Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
Kunitz led all left wings with 22 goals and 52 points. Subban tied for the lead among all NHL defensemen with 38 points, was second with 11 goals, and won his first Norris Trophy. Suter played more minutes than any player in the League, was third among blueliners with 32 points and was a Norris finalist.
Bobrovsky, in his first season with the Blue Jackets, emerged as the team's most valuable player. After starting the season competing with Steve Mason for No. 1 spot, he cemented his role as the team's top goaltender, and finished second in the League with a .932 save percentage and fifth with a 2.00 goals-against average. He then became the first Russian-born goalie to win the Vezina Trophy.
He also received 129 first-place votes, more than any other player.
Jonathan Toews, captain of the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, was named the center of the Second All-Star team. He tied for the team lead with 23 goals and was second with 48 points. He also had a team-best plus-28 rating while playing the second-most minutes of any forward on his team.
Joining Toews on the Second All-Star Team are New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, defensemen Francois Beauchemin of the Anaheim Ducks and Kris Letang of the Penguins, right wing Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Ovechkin at left wing.
Lundqvist led the League with 24 wins while playing 43 games, second-most in the League. It's his first Second-Team appearance after making the First Team in 2011-12. Beauchemin had 24 points and a career-best plus-19 rating. Letang tied Subban for the lead among blueliners with 38 points while playing 35 games. St. Louis had 60 points in 48 games to win the Hart Trophy for the second time in his career.
St. Louis is on the Second All-Star Team for the fourth time, and has made the First Team once. Beauchemin, Letang and Toews are first-time Second-Team All-Stars.
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