Alex Ovechkin did it again. With two goals, including a slap shot past Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson in the third period of Washington’s 4-3 overtime loss in Las Vegas on Wednesday, the Capitals’ captain reached 50 goals in a season for a record-tying ninth time. The feat was met with chants of “Ovi! Ovi!” from the red-clad fans who had come to witness history in the same building where Ovechkin and his teammates hoisted the Stanley Cup four years ago.
“I would say it’s pretty good company,” Ovechkin said after joining Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy as the only players to hit the 50-goal milestone nine times.
THE GOAL THAT MADE HISTORY:— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) April 21, 2022
ALEX OVECHKIN TIES WAYNE GRETZKY AND MIKE BOSSY FOR THE @NHL RECORD WITH 9️⃣ 50-GOAL SEASONS!!!!! #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/epekIGW05r
To help put Ovechkin’s latest achievement — and remarkable longevity — in perspective, here’s a look back at his 50th goals through the years.
April 13, 2006
Result: L, 5-3 at Atlanta
Goalie: Mike Dunham
Assists: Steve Eminger, Matt Pettinger
“I’m happy I score 50 goals, but I’m disappointed I lose the game,” Ovechkin said after joining Teemu Selanne as the only rookies in NHL history to record 50 goals and 100 points in a season.
March 3, 2008
Result: W, 10-2 vs. Boston
Goalie: Tim Thomas
Assists: Nicklas Backstrom, Shaone Morrisonn
Ovechkin scored his 50th, 51st and 52nd goals as part of Washington’s six-goal outburst against the Bruins in the first period of a blowout win.
“It just happens,” Ovechkin, who finished the season with a league-high 65 goals, 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.”
March 19, 2009
Result: W, 5-2 at Tampa Bay
Goalie: Mike McKenna
Assist: Nicklas Backstrom
Ovechkin broke out his “hot stick” celebration after becoming the first Capitals player to score at least 50 goals in three seasons.
“Me, José Théodore, Nicklas [Backstrom] and [Mike Green] said if I score a goal, José tell me just put the stick on the ice and try like it’s so hot,” Ovechkin said of the choreographed celebration. “Backie stopped and Greenie stopped so I have to do it myself.”
April 9, 2010
Result: W, 5-2 vs. Atlanta
Goalie: Ondrej Pavelec
Assists: Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom
Backstrom notched his 100th assist on Ovechkin’s 50th goal.
April 8, 2014
Result: W, 4-1 at St. Louis
Goalie: Ryan Miller
Assists: John Carlson, Joel Ward
“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.”
March 31, 2015
Result: W, 4-2 vs. Carolina
Goalie: Cam Ward
Assists: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Matt Niskanen
Ovechkin’s sixth 50th goal was the 472nd of his career, tying him with Peter Bondra for the most in franchise history.
“It’s always nice, but every year you don’t know what to expect from yourself and how you’re going to play,” Ovechkin said. “Maybe luck isn’t going to be on your side or something happens. But everything’s doing well right now.”
April 9, 2016
Result: W, 5-1 at St. Louis
Goalie: Anders Nilsson
Assists: Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie
Ovechkin scored two goals within three minutes in the first period and added another in the third to reach 50, marking the achievement with a hat trick for the second time in his career.
March 30, 2019
Result: W, 6-3 at Tampa Bay
Goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Assists: T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom
After falling one-goal shy of another 50-goal season in 2017-18, Ovechkin eclipsed the mark with three regular season games remaining.
“You always want to do something special, but sometimes it’s hard,” Ovechkin said. “I’m happy to get it done.”
April 20, 2022
Result: L, 4-3 (OT) at Las Vegas
Goalie: Logan Thompson
Assists: Dmitry Orlov, Nicklas Backstrom
Wednesday’s game ended too late to make Thursday’s print edition.
Ovechkin’s nine 50-goal seasons by the numbers:
Years young, Ovechkin’s age, making him the oldest player in NHL history with a 50-goal season. Boston Bruins legend John Bucyk was two months shy of his 36th birthday when he scored his 50th goal during the 1970-71 season.
Record for the Capitals in games in which Ovechkin has scored his 50th goal. Washington’s only other loss before Wednesday came in 2006, when Ovechkin first accomplished the feat.
Players who have assisted on Ovechkin’s nine 50th goals.
Times Nicklas Backstrom has assisted on Ovechkin’s 50th goal, including Wednesday.
Hat tricks Ovechkin has registered in games in which he has scored his 50th goal of the season.
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