The NHL awards the Art Ross Trophy annually "to the player who leads the League in scoring points at the end of the regular season." During a 21-year stretch from 1981-2001, the award was dominated by Wayne Gretzky (10-time winner), Mario Lemieux (6) and Jaromir Jagr (5), one of whom captured it each season. No player has won the Art Ross more than once since, but Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins, who claimed it in 2009, has the opportunity to change that -- he's locked in a three-way battle with Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning heading down the stretch.
Here's an up-to-date look at the race:
Evgeni Malkin (95 points) -- The Penguins improved to 13-0-1 in their last 14 games by demolishing Nashville 5-1 at the Consol Energy Center on Thursday night, and again it was Malkin who led the way. The Russian superstar had a pair of goals to build his lead in the scoring race to 10 points. He has seven goals in his last five games. The Penguins are off Friday before weekend games at Ottawa on Saturday and home against New Jersey on Sunday.
Claude Giroux (85 points) -- Giroux scored Philadelphia's lone goal in regulation as the Flyers topped Washington 2-1 in a shootout at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night. Now 10 points behind Malkin, Giroux and the Flyers face the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Steven Stamkos (84 points) -- Stamkos was held without a point in Thursday night's 3-2 shootout win against the Edmonton Oilers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum -- he did score in the tiebreaker, though that doesn't count in his season totals. The Lightning are back in action Saturday night against the New York Islanders. --- NHL.com