The record for the most goals scored by a Russian player has been a tease to Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin. It’s seemed like he’s had it twice, but twice in three games, he was erased from the history books when his goal was disallowed by a coach’s challenge. Against Detroit, Ovechkin became the first player in nearly 50 years to take 15 shots on goal without scoring.

For almost any other player in the NHL, a three-game goal-scoring drought wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. But Ovechkin scores goals with the regularity that the sky is blue, so being repeatedly denied his 484th career goal could be frustrating for him. He’s presently tied with Sergei Fedorov with 483 career goals, and Ovechkin’s been honest about how much this record means to him.

After a video review determined Ovechkin’s goal against the Flyers was offside, he was smiling and upbeat after the game. The Capitals had won and his historic goal being disallowed, again, was comedic even for him. But Ovechkin also seemed determined to score the next night, in front of his home crowd and several family members.

Ovechkin was denied again in a 3-2 overtime loss to Calgary, putting three shots on goal and having four of his attempts blocked. Capitals Coach Barry Trotz was asked after the game if he senses mounting pressure on Ovechkin.

“Yeah, today I did, for the first time,” Trotz said. “He wants to get it. There’s no question he wants to get it. I haven’t talked to him about it, but the best advice you can give him is just play your normal game. You’ve scored a gazillion goals in this league.

“And to our team, (my advice is) don’t look for Ovi to score that goal. Don’t overpass, don’t do anything. He’s scored a lot of goals. Play the way we play and I will guarantee he will score that goal and he will score many after that. But today, I think he wanted it today in front of his fans and the people that supported him and all that. I think he wants to get it over with. You guys have the clock going.

“When he does it, everybody will be very happy.”