Washington Capitals Playoff Milestones Achieved During the 2018 Playoffs

In addition to the team’s obvious milestone of winning their first Stanley Cup in 2018, the Washington Capitals achieved a number of other milestones during their Stanley Cup playoff run to end the 2017-18 season.  This not only includes statistical milestones achieved, but several “firsts”. 


  • Alex Ovechkin was the first Russian to hoist the Stanley Cup as a Captain of an NHL team.
  • Jay Beagle was the first player to ever win titles at the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), the American Hockey League (AHL), and the National Hockey League (NHL). He won the Kelly Cup with the Idaho Steelheads in 2007.  He won back to back Calder Cups with the Hershey Bears in 2009 and 2010.  In 2018, he won the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals.   (More on the subject)
  • Lars Eller was the first Dane to raise the Stanley Cup.
  • Nathan Walker was the first Australian to be part of a Stanley Cup winning team, although his name will not be engraved upon the trophy.


Playoff Goal Milestones

  • For this year’s playoffs, Alex Ovechkin led all playoff participants in goals scored with 15. Evgeny Kuznetsov was second on the Capitals in goals and third overall, with 12.  T. J. Oshie was third for the Caps in goals and tied for sixth with Jonathan Marshessault with 8.
  • The 15 goals that Ovechkin scored in the playoffs was tied for 16th place in goals scored in a single playoff run, along with Mark Messier (1982-83), Jari Kurri (1986-87), Yvan Cournoyer (1972-73), Sidney Crosby (2008-09), and Wayne Gretzky (1992-93).
  • Ovechkin has now moved into first place among Washington Capitals players for most goals scored in a playoff run, pulling ahead of John Druce, who scored 14 goals in 1989-90. Granted, Druce scored his total in just 15 games, as the Caps had only advanced to the Conference Finals that season and Ovechkin played in 24 games in four playoff rounds in 2018.
  • Ovechkin has scored 61 goals in the playoffs during his career, which ranks fourth among active players, only behind Patrick Marleau, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeny Malkin. (Note: NHL.com listed Jaromir Jagr in first place but given that he is no longer in the NHL, he is no longer active.)  He is tied for #28 on the All Time Playoff Goal scoring list with Phil Esposito, Jacques Lemaire, and Mark Recchi.

Playoff Point Milestones

  • For this year’s playoffs, Washington Capitals players ranked first, second, and third in points (goals and assists) scored. Evgeny Kuznetsov was the leader with 32 points.  Alex Ovechkin was in second place with 27 and Nicklas Backstrom was in third place with 23.  Backstrom’s 23 points was impressive considering he missed four games due to injury.
  • Kuznetsov’s 32 points for this playoff run was second among active players, only to Evgeny Malkin (2008-09) who had 36 points. He was tied for #19 in the number of points scored in a single playoff run along with Barry Pederson (1982-83).
  • Ovechkin’s 27 points in this year’s playoffs is tied for #11 in a single playoff run among active players with Crosby (2007-08) and 2016-17) and Henrik Zetterberg (2007-08) and is tied for #48 on the All Time List with Crosby, Zetterberg, and fifteen other players.
  • None of the current Capitals rank in the Top 50 of the All Time List for playoff career points. Ovechkin is currently tied for #65 with Sergei Zubov.  Among active players in career playoff points scored, Ovechkin ranks #8, Backstrom ranks #11, John Carlson is tied for #42 with James Neal, and T.J. Oshie is tied for #46 with Joel Ward and Mike Fisher, although Oshie’s career includes statistics for both the Capitals and the St Louis Blues.


Playoff Assist Milestones

  • For this year’s playoffs, Evgeny Kuznetsov led in assists with 20. Tied for second place in assists, with Blake Wheeler was Nicklas Backstrom who had 18.  John Carlson ranked fifth with 15 assists while T.J. Oshie was tied for seventh with Jonathan Marshessault and Brad Marchand.  Alex Ovechkin tied for eleventh with Sidney Crosby.
  • Among active players, Kuznetsov’s 20 assists for this year’s playoffs is tied for fifth, along with Logan Couture (2015-16) and only ranks behind Jonathan Toews (2009-10), Evgeny Malkin (2008-09), Anze Kopitar (2013-14), and Sidney Crosby (2007-08).
  • Kuznetsov’s 20 assists for this year’s playoffs is tied for #22 on the All Time List with Couture, Pelle Eklund (1986-87), Bob Bourne (1982-83), and Denis Savard (1984-85).
  • Backstrom’s 18 assists for this year’s playoffs is tied for #10 among active players
  • Backstrom now has 67 playoff assists for his career which is tied for seventh place among active players with Patrick Kane (2009-10), Ryan Getzlaf (2014-15), Duncan Keith (2014-15), Joe Thornton (2015-16), Evgeny Malkin (2016-17), and Blake Wheeler (2017-18).
  • Backstrom’s 67 assists is tied for #35 on the All Time List for assists in a playoff series with 22 other players
  • John Carlson ranks tied for #23 among active players for playoff assists with several other players.
  • Oshie is tied for #38 in playoff assists among Active Players.


Goaltending Milestones

  • After this year’s playoffs, Braden Holtby now has 45 career playoff wins which ranks fifth among active goaltenders and tied for #23 on the All Time List with Tony Esposito.
  • After this year’s playoffs, Braden Holtby now has played in 82 playoff games in his career which ranks sixth among active goaltenders and #27 on the All Time List.

Further Reading
Lars Eller has Stepped Up on Second Line in Nicklas Backstrom’s Absence
Barry Trotz on Evgeny Kuznetsov: “He’s Been on the Cusp of Superstar Status All Year”
Braden Holtby’s Game-Saver Embodies The Washington Capitals Stanley Cup Run


About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
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3 Responses to Washington Capitals Playoff Milestones Achieved During the 2018 Playoffs

  1. Josh L says:

    Could Walker get one of the two optional spots on the Cup although he isn’t on the guaranteed list because he didn’t play in the Final? Has the team announced their list?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Walker can ce votes on for one of the final spots. There is a post from yesterday that discusses that, which also includes a poll for the last two spots.

  2. Pingback: Washington Capitals Career Milestones Achieved in 2017-2018 Season | NoVa Caps

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