Predators Avalanche Hockey
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Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, front, is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Nashville Predators as he passes the team box in the second period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Monday, April 16, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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NEW YORK — New Jersey left wing Taylor Hall, Los Angeles center Anze Kopitar and Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon are the finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player.

The winner will be announced June 20 at the NHL Awards shows in Las Vegas.

Hall had 39 goals and 54 assists, setting career highs across the board to lead the Devils to a 27-point improvement in the standings and their first playoff appearance since 2011-12.

Kopitar scored 35 goals and had 57 assists, nearly tripling his goals total and doubling his points total from 2016-17 to power the Kings to their seventh playoff berth in the past nine years.

MacKinnon had 39 goals and 58 assists to guide the Avalanche to a 47-point improvement, matching the fourth-highest year-to-year gain in league history.

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