From second-best to second to none.

Evgeni Malkin, drafted second behind Alexander Ovechkin and a career-long No. 2 behind Sidney Crosby with the Penguins, finally, formally took that next step to No. 1 by winning the NHL's Hart Trophy as most valuable player, presented Wednesday night at a gala show at the Wynn hotel.

It was a rout, to boot.

Malkin received 144 of a possible 149 first-place votes and was named on every ballot submitted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. His 1,473 voting points dwarfed the 598 of Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos and the 556 of New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.