Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images
It’s an exciting time to be a Washington Capitals fan and each celebration seems to overshadow the last. Friday night, against the Minnesota Wild, Alex Ovechkin, tallied his 40th goal of the season.
Ovechkin is a long-standing member of the 40 club and this is the eighth time in his career and his third consecutive season achieving this lofty milestone. “He never stops impressing us,” said line mate Nicklas Backstrom about Ovechkin’s performance.
Ovechkin’s 40th goal came early in the third period during a Capitals power play. When he launched the puck in the net from his office for the score. Backstrom fed the puck to defenseman Matt Niskanen who fired the puck to Ovechkin. The goal, in addition to being Ovechkin’s 40th of the season, allowed the Capitals to pull up even with the Wild at 2-2 and about 15 minutes to play on the clock.
This season marks the eighth time in Ovechkin’s career and the third consecutive season he has scored 40 or more goals. He is the seventh player in NHL history to record 40 or more goals in eight of his first 11 NHL seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Marcel Dionne, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille. “Every year it [scoring 40 goals] is harder and harder to do,” he insisted. This milestone is also significant because it is the sixth time that Ovechkin has led the NHL in reaching the 40-goal plateau and, at his current rate of scoring; Ovechkin is on track to score 50 goals during the regular season.
The Capitals went on to beat the Wild in regulation play with Dmitry Orlov launching the game winner late in the third period. The Capitals take on the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, 2/28 in Chicago, game that some are considering a preview to the Stanley Cup finals.
By Stephanie Judge