Alex Ovechkin had 56 points in a shortened season for the Capitals. Reuters

Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin won the Hart Trophy as the National Hockey League's most valuable player on Saturday, picking up the honor for the third time.

Ovechkin, who also claimed the MVP award in 2008 and 2009, edged Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby in the closest Hart race in a decade.

Ovechkin received 1,090 points to 1,058 for Crosby in voting conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

The 27-year-old Russian sniper tallied 32 goals, including 23 in his final 23 contests, as he also became the first three-time winner of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the season's top goal scorer.

Ovechkin also finished third in points (56), first in power-play goals (16), first in power-play points (27) and first in shots on goal (220).

The New York Islanders' John Tavares finished third in the Hart Trophy voting.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Gene Cherry)