In case there was any doubt after his series-saving performance on Tuesday night, Alex Ovechkin is statistically proven to be one of the most clutch players in hockey.
Ovi accounted for two of the Capitals’ three unanswered goals last night to carry his team to a 3-2 win and force Game 5 – keeping the Caps’ Stanley Cup hopes alive. The two scores were also his 12th and 13th goals in a game where his team faced elimination. With 13 goals of that kind, Ovechkin now ranks sixth all-time in the NHL for most goals when facing elimination.
With the playoffs on the line, Ovechkin has posted 13 goals as well as 11 assists for 24 points in 25 elimination games – recording almost a point a game when his team needs him most.
He trails only five other skaters in the category with Mark Messier leading the pack at 16 goals and Jaromir Jagr, Gilbert Perreault, Maurice Richard and former teammate Justin Williams all tying in second place with 15 goals.
The Game 4 victory was only the third time in franchise history that the Capitals overcame a multi-goal deficit to win a game where they faced elimination. Both previous matchups were against the Flyers in 1988 and 2008. To no surprise, the only other game of that kind during Ovechkin’s career was the 2008 victory where he scored two third-period goals to carry the team to a 4-2 comeback win and force Game 7.
In Tuesday’s matchup, Ovechkin’s two scores also became his 68th and 69th career postseason goals, which allowed him to pass Gordie Howe and Sidney Crosby to take 18th place on the NHL’s all-time playoff goal list. He now trails Steve Yzerman by one who he also passed in the all-time regular-season rankings in January.
With the Capitals on the brink of elimination for the remainder of the series, working to dig themselves out of a 3-0 deficit, they will rely on their clutch captain to carry them and hopefully help them miraculously advance to the next round