It remains to be seen if Alex Ovechkin will someday break Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goal scoring record. It’s hard to believe that it could happen, but Ovechkin’s consistent dominance when it comes to finding the back of the net at least makes it possible. That long-time dominance was highlighted once again on Friday when Ovechkin set a record that at one time was held by Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy.
Ovechkin scored his 45th career goal on Friday, which makes this the 10th time in his career that he’s reached that milestone. Gretzky and Bossy finished their careers with nine campaigns with at least 45 goals.
Of course Gretzky, who played in a very different era, had the best goal scoring seasons of all-time, but the vast majority of his goals came in the front half of his career. Gretzky had 718 goals in 925 games through 1990-91 and the age of 30 (he turned 31 in Jan. 26, 1991). For the rest of his career, he scored 176 goals in 562 games. So far Ovechkin has 127 goals in 228 contests from the age of 31 to his present 33-years-old. In other words, where Ovechkin has the potential to close the gap on Gretzky is with his performance in the back half of his career.
Ovechkin has 652 career goals, which puts him in 14th place in the all-time list. Brendan Shanahan holds the 13th spot with 656 goals.
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BUFFALO 4 PITTSBURGH 3 (OT)
Conor Sheary scored two goals, including the overtime winner, and registered an assist. It was a bit of revenge against the Penguins, who traded him over the summer.
Brandon Montour also had a goal and an assist for the Sabres. It was his first two points with Buffalo after being acquired from Anaheim on Feb. 24.
Sidney Crosby scored a goal and registered an assist. The Penguins captain has 28 goals and 79 points in 61 games.
Matt Murray stopped 26 of 30 Sabres shots. He has a 19-10-3 record, 2.96 GAA, and .911 save percentage in 33 starts.
At the other end of the ice, Linus Ullmark saved 41 of 44 shots. He’s up to 14-8-4 with a 3.03 GAA and .910 save percentage in 29 contests.
PHILADELPHIA 6 NEW JERSEY 3
Cam Talbot made his Flyers debut, stopping 30 of 33 shots. It wasn’t exactly a dominant perform and at one point the Flyers’ 2-0 lead was erased, but he ultimately got the job done.
James van Riemsdyk scored Philadelphia’s first two goals and registered an assist. He has 19 goals and 35 points in 49 contests.
Jakub Voracek assisted on three of the Flyers’ six markers. He’s up to 18 goals and 59 points in 65 games.
Damon Severson scored a goal and registered two assists. The Devils defenseman has nine goals and 33 points in 65 games.
Cory Schneider surrendered five goals on just 23 shots. He has a 4-9-2 record, 3.38 GAA, and .892 save percentage in 18 contests.
WASHINGTON 3 NY ISLANDERS 1
Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal. It was his 45th marker and 75th point in 64 games.
T.J. Oshie found the back of the net and registered an assist against Washington. That gives him 21 goals and 42 points in 54 contests.
Braden Holtby turned aside 20 of 21 Islanders shots. He has a 23-16-4 record, 2.97 GAA, and .909 save percentage in 46 games.
The Islanders’ only goal was scored by Tom Kuhnhackl. He’s up to four goals and eight points in 27 games.
Thomas Greiss saved 26 of 28 shots Friday night. The two goals he surrendered were scored within 1:08 minutes of each other early in the third period.
MONTREAL 4 NY RANGERS 2
Joel Armia led the Canadiens with a hat trick. He had just 33 goals in 219 career games before this contest.
Montreal’s other goal was scored by Brendan Gallagher. It was his 28th goal and 42nd point in 65 games.
Brendan Lemieux found the back of the net for the Rangers. He also accumulated 12 penalty minutes between a roughing call in the first period and a misconduct with 37 seconds left in the contest.
Carey Price stopped 28 of 30 shots Friday night. That gives him a 27-18-5 record, 2.51 GAA, and .918 save percentage in 51 contests.
At the other end of the ice, Henrik Lundqvist kicked out 32 of 35 shots. He’s allowed at least three goals in each of his last three starts and the Rangers are 0-2-1 over that span.
CAROLINA 5 ST. LOUIS 2
Vince Dunn scored a goal and registered an assist for the Blues. He has nine goals and 27 points in 60 contests.
Jake Allen turned aside 19 of 23 Hurricanes shots. He has a 17-16-5 record, 2.98 GAA, and .901 save percentage in 40 games.
Sebastian Aho scored the game-winning goal shorthanded and registered an assist. He’s up to 26 goals and 72 points in 64 contests.
Justin Faulk also had a goal and an assist for Carolina. That gives him eight goals and 25 points in 64 games.
Curtis McElhinney stopped 21 of 23 shots to pick up his sixth win in the span of seven starts. He’s 17-7-1 with a 2.24 GAA and .923 save percentage in 25 starts.
WINNIPEG 5 NASHVILLE 3
Blake Wheeler scored a goal and registered two assists. He’s up to 13 goals and 76 points in 64 games.
Mark Scheifele also had a goal and two helpers for Winnipeg. That gives him 32 goals and 72 points in 64 contests.
Laurent Brossoit stopped 35 of 38 Predators shots. He’s four-game losing streak is over, but he’s now allowed at least three goals in each of his last five starts.
P.K. Subban scored a goal for Nashville. It was the blueliner’s seventh marker and 24th point in 48 games.
Pekka Rinne saved 27 of 30 shots Friday night. The Jets scored an empty net goal to make it 4-2, Nashville then cut the lead to 4-3, before Winnipeg added a second empty netter.
VEGAS 3 ANAHEIM 0
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 34 Ducks shots. This was his seventh perfect game of the season and the 55th of his career.
Daniel Sprong had a team-high six shots against Fleury. That tied Sprong’s season-high in shots, which was set on Oct. 27.
William Karlsson scored the first and therefore game-winning goal. It was his 19th marker and 40th point in 66 games.
Cody Eakin also found the back of the net for Vegas. He has 16 goals and 33 points in 62 games.
John Gibson turned aside 31 of 33 Golden Knights shots. He was playing for the first time since Feb. 7 after recovering from head/neck/back injuries.
SAN JOSE 4 COLORADO 3
Gabriel Landeskog assisted on all three Avalanche goals. He has 33 markers and 68 points in 65 games.
Marcus Sorensen scored a pair of goals for San Jose. He’s up to 13 goals and 22 points in 63 games.
Joe Pavelski accounted for the game-winning goal and registered an assist. That gives him 36 goals and 61 points in 65 contests.
Martin Jones stopped 22 of 25 Avalanche shots. He has a 29-13-5 record, 2.95 GAA, and .896 save percentage in 49 games.
At the other end of the ice, Semyon Varlamov kicked out 36 of 40 shots. He allowed two goals on a staggering 18 shots in the second frame.