LOS ANGELES -- Sharks forward Patrick Marleau said Tuesday he hadn't given any thought to the Lady Byng Trophy this season until he found out he was a finalist for the award given annually to a player who combines high skills with sportsmanship on the ice.

"I was very surprised and very appreciative," said Marleau, whose 18 penalty minutes tied him for lowest among any player with at least 70 points.

The other nominees are Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche and Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers, who won the award a year ago.

It's the second time in his 16-year NHL career that Marleau has been nominated for the award. He had the winning goal in overtime Tuesday as the Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 for a 3-0 playoff series lead.

"I'm really happy for him," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Patty plays the game the right way. We see a lot of stuff that goes on where players are questioned about their ethics on the ice, and suspensions and whatnot. He has a high skill level, he competes hard every night, he plays physical, but he plays ethically the right way."

Marleau, 34, ranked second on the Sharks in goals with 33 and third in points with 70. This year he also helped Team Canada win a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics.

Marleau is the only Shark ever nominated as a finalist for the Lady Byng in voting by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. He finished third in 2006, the year the Detroit Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk won the first of his four straight Lady Byngs.


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O'Reilly scored 64 points for the Avalanche this season and earned only one penalty, a minor for playing with a broken stick in the third period of a March 29 game against the Sharks. St. Louis scored 69 points this season and had 10 minutes in penalties.

The winner will be announced on June 24 at NHL ceremonies in Las Vegas.

  • Raffi Torres can relate to what Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooker -- another crossing-the-line player who has tried to clean up his game -- is going through.

    Cooke will be in New York on Wednesday, facing an NHL suspension of Monday night's knee-on-knee hit that has knocked Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie out of the lineup for four to six weeks.

    "It's one of those things," the Sharks forward said. "I'm sure he felt brutal in that moment last night, thinking, 'What did I just do, all that work goes down the drain.' He'll take what he gets, and I'm sure he'll be back being an effective player for them in the future."

    Torres was suspended for the duration of the Sharks series with the Los Angeles Kings a year ago for an illegal hit that knocked Jarrett Stoll out of the next six games with an upper body injury.

  • Marleau and Joe Thornton each picked up their 100th career playoff points in Game 3. Thornton got there first, assisting on Brent Burns' goal.

  • It wasn't much of a mystery, but the one question surrounding the Sharks lineup for Game 3 was where McLellan would play Joe Pavelski. The Sharks leading goal-scorer spent the morning skate as the left wing on Joe Thornton's line and that's where he started the game. But four minutes into the first period, rookie Tomas Hertl was in that spot and Pavelski's next shift came on the third line between James Sheppard and Tommy Wingels.

    Bay Area News Group staff writer Curtis Pashelka contributed to this report. For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/PollakOnSharks.