The Capitals kept their faint playoff hopes alive last night with a 4-1 win in St. Louis, and Alex Ovechkin reached another milestone in the process. With his first-period tally, Ovechkin became the 11th player in NHL history with at least five 50-goal seasons. The other 10 are in the Hall of Fame.
Here’s a look back at Ovechkin’s five 50th goals. Most of them came during happier times.
April 8, 2014
“It means a lot. It’s big number and it’s going to be in history for my whole life,” Ovechkin said. “I’m pretty sure my family happy, the guys happy for me, I appreciate all players who give me opportunities, and coaches, to be in right position and find the right spot.”
Ovechkin showed off the puck from his 50th on Instagram.
April 9, 2010
On the same night the Capitals were presented with the Presidents’ Trophy, Ovechkin scored twice in a 5-2 win over Atlanta, giving him an even 50. Nicklas Backstrom collected his 100th point with an assist on Ovechkin’s 50th, leaving reporters to wonder who would keep the puck.
“We’re talking about splitting it in two halves,” Backstrom joked after the game.
March 19, 2009
The Caps beat the Lightning 5-2 and Ovechkin celebrated his 50th with a “hot stick” routine.
“Me, Jose Theodore, Nicklas [Backstrom] and [Mike Green] said if I score a goal, Jose tell me just put the stick on the ice and try like it’s so hot,” Ovechkin said of the planned celebration. “Backie stopped and Greenie stopped so I have to do it myself.”
March 3, 2008
Ovechkin scored his 50th, 51st and 52nd goals in the Capitals’ 10-2 win over Boston.
“It just happens,” Ovechkin said of his fifth career hat trick. “You are going to score lots of games, and some you aren’t. Today, everything just went to the net.” Ovechkin finished the season with a league-high 65 goals.
April 13, 2006
Ovechkin joined Teemu Selanne as the only players to score 50 goals and record 100 points as rookies.
“I’m happy I score 50 goals, but I’m disappointed we lose the game,” Ovechkin said after the Thrashers defeated the Capitals, 5-3, in Atlanta.
The loss was one of 41 for the Capitals that season.