Alexander Steen skates around Canadiens defenseman Raphael Diaz earlier this month. (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

When the Capitals welcome the St. Louis Blues to Verizon Center Sunday evening they’ll be tasked with trying to contain Alexander Steen, who leads the league in both goals (17) and points (26).

Steen is the first NHL player to record 17 goals in the first 18 games of a season since Simon Gagne and Daniel Alfredsson each posted 18 goals in the opening 18 contests of the 2005-06 season. He’s the first St. Louis player to do so since Brett Hull and his 13-game point streak is the longest by a Blue since Pierre Turgeon’s 15-game stretch

League’s leading goal scorer with 17 goals, points 26 his 26.6 shooting percentage is second to only the Capitals’ Joel Ward (28.1) among players who have taken at least 30 shots on goal.

Saturday night, Steen’s goal gave St. Louis the lead in the third period en route to a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Ever opportunity Steen gets seems destined for the back of the net and when a player is on this significant of an offensive groove, it’s everything opponents can do to try and limit them.

“You try really, really hard. Some of those guys who’ve got the hot stick, all they need is half a second. You’ve just got to do your best to watch him,” Karl Alzner said. “It’s kind of the same thing with Ovi. Keep a guy on him as close as you can and you hope the puck doesn’t come to him.”

Here is Steen’s goal from Saturday night.