It gets harder to contain Alex Ovechkin’s name in the NHL history books seemingly by the day. On Wednesday night in Las Vegas, he scored his 49th and 50th goals this season in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Golden Knights, etching his name alongside a few legends of the game.
Ovechkin tied Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy with an NHL record ninth 50-goal season, and also set the all-time record for goals scored in a single season by a player age 36 or older, passing Teemu Selanne. Capitals fans will remember T-Mobile Arena in Sin City fondly, as it was where Washington hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2018.
Ovechkin setting goal records in that building, albeit in a loss, brings back fond memories for Washingtonians. When asked if doing so under those circumstances made his record-setting night even more special, the Great 8 smiled.
“Yeah, obviously lots of great memories,” Ovechkin said postgame. “Locker room, like everything you know, hotel—it’s gonna stay here forever, so pretty fun moments.”
Wednesday night saw a flood of emotions for Capitals fans and Ovechkin alike, as memories of Lord Stanley filled the evening. More immediately, though, was the history Ovechkin made as he scored twice to snag his ninth 50-goal season. To be spoken in the same breath as two players known as ‘The Great One’ and ‘The Boss’ put everything in perspective for Washington’s captain.
“It’s pretty good company,” Ovechkin said. “[I’m] pretty happy. When you score the first one, you just feel pretty good about the game. I think our line today felt good, had pretty good chances. It’s one of the nights [when you have] a good feeling.”
The hockey world mourned the loss of the great Mike Bossy last week, as the New York Islanders legend passed away at age 65. Astoundingly, Bossy topped 50 goals in nine of his mere 10 seasons in the NHL, winning four consecutive Stanley Cups in the process.
Ovechkin fondly remembered meeting Bossy a few times, remembering the fact that “He was always smiling, he always had a good mood and it’s a sad day for the whole world. He was a legend and obviously he was a great person.”
Ovechkin did have a chance to snag goal No. 50 on the season earlier in the contest. Washington was down 3-2 with about 12 minutes remaining in the third period, when Ovechkin found himself alone on a breakaway, facing Vegas goalie Logan Thompson.
The puck rolled over Ovechkin’s stick and he was unable to muster a shot on net. Though he obviously ended up scoring his 50th goal on the campaign moments later, the missed opportunity wasn’t lost on him after the game.
“Yeah, I kind of effed myself,” Ovechkin said with a laugh. “I was thinking a little too much. That’s not my game.”
Washington stealing a point in Las Vegas now sees them tied in the Metropolitan Division with Pittsburgh—both teams have 97 points on the year with five games remaining. The Capitals will finish off this road trip in Phoenix on Friday before returning home to face the Maple Leafs and Islanders.