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Another milestone for Caps’ Ovechkin with historic goal No. 45

Another milestone for Caps’ Ovechkin with historic goal No. 45

Alex Ovechkin’s inevitable creep toward 50 goals took another step on Friday when he scored the game-winner in an eventual 3-1 win against the New York Islanders. 

Ovechkin batted a puck out of the air and past goalie Thomas Greiss on a power play in the third period to break a 1-1 tie. It was his 45thgoal of the season, which marked a milestone. Ovechkin became the first NHL player to score 45 goals 10 different times. 

He was previously tied with Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy, who did it nine times each. Those two have one advantage over Ovechkin, however: In all of those seasons they also topped 50 goals. They share that record. Ovechkin is third all-time with seven 50-goal seasons but came up agonizingly short last year with 49. But with 17 games left he has a good shot at pulling within one of Gretzky and Bossy’s mark. 

“[Ovechkin] continues to amaze the players in the room and our coaching staff. I’ve said it a lot this year – we are just so lucky to have this player in our organization,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. “He’s a generational talent in the National Hockey League. The National Hockey League is fortunate that a player like him has been able to come over and do the things that he did. You’re always looking for special people, special talents like he is. And to be able to have 10 seasons of 45 goals is absolutely amazing.” 

Ovechkin is climbing up the charts almost nightly now. His game-winning goal was the 106th of his career. That ties Toronto’s Patrick Marleau for seventh all time. Brendan Shanahan is up next at 109 with Teemu Selanne and Brett Hull tied for fourth at 110. 

With 45 goals and 30 assists, Ovechkin has 75 points. He again has a shot at a 90-point season, which he has not reached since the 2009-10 season. Last year Ovechkin fell just short with 87 points (49 goals, 38 assists). He is also now just three points shy of 1,200 points for his career. He is 48thall time (1,197) and would tie former Capitals forward Dino Ciccarelli when he gets to 1,200. 

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (1,463) is the only active player with more points than Ovechkin, who this year passed former teammate Sergei Fedorov (1,179) for most points by a Russian player.  


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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

Friday saw the Toronto Maple Leafs pull ahead 3-2 and the Colorado Avalanche eliminate the favored Calgary Flames. Saturday provided another elimination game and two teams pulled ahead 3-2 in their series.

Here are the results from Saturday.

St. Louis Blues eliminate Winnipeg Jets with 3-2 win

The Blues return to the second round of the playoffs after they were eliminated in the first round last season.

The Blues rally started 23 seconds into the game, when Jaden Schwartz put home a Brayden Schenn rebound.

Schwartz followed with two more goals, completing the hat trick. It's the second natural hat trick in a playoff series clinching game since Geoff Courtnall in 1992.

The Blues await the winner of the Nashville-Dallas series.

Dallas Stars pull ahead of Nashville Predators in 5-3 victory

The Stars were able to steal one from the Predators at Bridgestone Arena thanks to Jason Dickinson and Alexander Radulov's two goal performances.

Tyler Seguin added a goal of his own to pull the Stars ahead 4-2 at the end of the second period, and Ben Bishop recorded 30 saves.

The Stars have a chance to close the series at home Monday night.

Washington Capitals take upperhand on Carolina Hurricanes with 6-0 shutout

After dropping Game 4 in Carolina 2-1, the Caps exploded for six goals against the Hurricanes in a 6-0 win.

Nicklas Backstrom scored the opening two goals. He leads the Capitals in playoff goals with five and had a four point night.

The Caps also got production from their bottom six with Brett Connolly's goal and Nic Dowd's converted penalty shot. It's the first penalty shot a Caps player has successfully made in the playoffs.

Braden Holtby's shutout gave him seven in the playoffs, surpassing Olaf Kolzig's six for the franchise lead. The Caps have a chance to win the series in Carolina Monday night.


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Todd Reirden on TJ Oshie's surgery: 'It's a tough situation for our team'

Todd Reirden on TJ Oshie's surgery: 'It's a tough situation for our team'

ARLINGTON — Capitals forward T.J. Oshie had a surgical procedure Friday to repair a broken right collarbone and remains out indefinitely.  

Oshie was not at Capital One Arena for Washington’s 6-0 win in Game 5 of its Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes. He was injured with five minutes to go in Thursday’s Game 4 loss in Raleigh when nudged from behind by Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele and slamming hard into the boards near full speed. 

“There's not one person who can take T.J. Oshie's spot for all that he is as a human being, player on the ice, off the ice all the stuff that he adds,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said at his media availability on Sunday afternoon. “But what I did notice is that everybody picked their level up last night. And that's what we're going to need going into Raleigh for [Monday]."

That’s when Washington, ahead 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, can eliminate Carolina in Game 6. It’s something it has done successfully on the road in recent years in Philadelphia (2016), Toronto (2017), Pittsburgh and Columbus (2018). All series the Capitals were up 3-2. In all four they won Game 6. 

But they won’t have Oshie this time and he is the emotional engine that has helped fuel some of those series-ending performances. There is still no exact timetable for Oshie’s return. The Capitals have avoided ruling him out for the season and Reirden artfully dodged a question about whether he’d be ready for training camp. 

A broken collarbone usually doesn’t take longer than two months to heal barring complications. But that’s almost certainly going to be after the playoffs ends even if the Capitals make a repeat run to the Stanley Cup Final. Last year they won it on June 7 in five games against the Vegas Golden Knights. 

“I do know that T.J. Oshie is going to do everything he can, and we're not willing to put a timetable on it right now with regard to any time,” Reirden said. “Just lots of these things take a different course in terms of how they rehab and don't rehab. I just know that I can tell you about T.J., he's all-in at all times, and that's a great person to have around our room at the very least." 

Oshie had 25 goals and 29 assists in 65 regular-season games. He missed 11 of 13 games with a concussion. He had eight goals and 13 assists in the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. He also plays the “bumper” role on the top power-play unit and kills penalties.

Oshie tweeted thanks to fans both before and after Washington’s 6-0 win on Saturday. In the third period, periodic “T.J. Oshie!” chants rang from the sellout crowd at Capital One Arena. 

“It was nice to see the crowd give [Oshie] a little love,” center Nicklas Backstrom said on Saturday.  

Added Reirden: “That's obviously a tough loss for us, but we're prepared to go without him as we saw last night. It's a tough situation for our team, but I certainly liked our response last night and was proud of our effort in terms of how we played and how we were playing with him in the back of our mind."