Capitals

Ovechkin scores twice in the third, keeps setting milestones

Capitals

Over the last few weeks, the Capitals’ offense and power play have struggled to put pucks in the net almost no matter the situation. 

Tuesday, captain Alex Ovechkin helped fix both for the night.

In the third period against the Nashville Predators, Ovechkin helped put the Capitals ahead for good with a power play and empty-net goal in a 4-1 Washington win

The goals were Ovechkin’s 30th and 31st of the season as he now trails leaders Leon Draisaitl and Chris Kreider by just two for the league lead. With his two late goals, Ovechkin moved himself into a tie for 4th in the NHL with 62 points, behind just Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Jonathan Huberdeau. 

Ovechkin also has now scored 30 or more goals in 16 of his 17 NHL seasons. The only one he failed to reach the mark was last year, when the league’s schedule was just 56 games. Only Mike Gartner (17) has more 30-goal seasons than Ovechkin. Additionally, Gartner played 19 NHL seasons while Ovechkin has had multiple shortened seasons due to a lockout and the pandemic. 

Perhaps most importantly in the historical context for his goals, he now has 761 all-time tallies. He is just five goals away from tying Jaromir Jagr for third, 40 away from Gordie Howe for second and 133 away from Wayne Gretzky for first.

When he signed his five-year contract extension over the summer, the number honed in on by everyone was 33, as that’s what he’ll need to average per season over the duration of his deal to top Gretzky. He’s now just two away from checking the first year off the to-do list.

 

At 36-years-old, Ovechkin has remained one of the league’s best goal scorers, and in a spot where his team was struggling and needed a boost, he helped provide it in a big way.