Alex Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season at 15:34 in the first period of the game between the Washington Capitals and the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. It tied the game at 1-1.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 4, 2019
This is the fourteenth consecutive year where Ovechkin has scored at least 30 goals. He is only the second player in NHL history to begin his career with at least fourteen consecutive 30 goal seasons.
The first was Mike Gartner, who had fifteen consecutive seasons with 30 or more goals. Gartner began his career in 1979-80 and had 30 or more goal seasons every year up to and including the 1993-94 season. Gartner had played with the Washington Capitals from 1979 through 1988, nearly nine full seasons. He was traded to the Minnesota North Stars on March 7, 1988, along with Larry Murphy in exchange for Dino Ciccarelli and Bob Rouse.
The following season, he was traded to the New York Rangers where he stayed for four years before getting traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1994. His streak of 30 goal seasons ended during the 1994-95 season, which was only a partial season due to the NHL lockout. He had two more seasons during his career where he scored over 30 goals.
The only other player, besides Ovechkin and Gartner, who has scored at least 30 goals in fourteen or more consecutive seasons was Jaromir Jagr, who had scored 30 or more goals in fifteen seasons. Jagr’s streak of scoring 30 or more goals did not begin until his second NHL season, 1991-91. After that, he scored 30 goals in thirteen consecutive seasons prior to the full season lockout of 2004-05 and then two more consecutive years of 30 goals post lockout.
Jagr had started his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990-91 and played with them until the 2000-01 season. He was traded in the off season to the Washington Capitals and stayed with them for two full seasons and part of another season when he was traded to the New York Rangers.
Other players who have scored 30 goals in fourteen or more seasons were: Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, and Marcel Dionne, each with fourteen such seasons.
Ovi’s goal scoring milestone was one of the few bright spots during a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
By Diane Doyle
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