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While the 2019-20 NHL season was ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the shortened campaign was not an uneventful one for members of the Washington Capitals, as many members of the team reached significant career milestones during the regular season. In this piece, NoVa Caps’ Diane Doyle takes a look at the milestones reached by the members of the Capitals.
Alex Ovechkin Milestones
- At the start of the 2019-20 season, Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin had scored 658 goals in his NHL career, the most by any player in Washington Capitals’ history, first among active NHL players, and 13th on the NHL’s All-Time list. During the season, he passed Luc Robitaille (668), Teemu Selanne (684), Mario Lemieux (690), Steve Yzerman (692), and Mark Messier (694) on the Goal-Scoring list. He scored his 668th and 669th goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 29; his 685th goal on January 13; scored goals 690, 691, and 692 against the New York Islanders on January 18, passing Mario Lemieux and tying Steve Yzerman; scored his 693rd goal against the Nashville Predators on January 29 to pass Yzerman, and reached 700 career goals against the New Jersey Devils on February 22. He currently has 706 career goals, which ranks eighth on the All-Time Goals Scored list and first among active players.
- Going into the 2019-20 season, Ovechkin had recorded 1,211 total career points in his NHL career, 45th on the All-Time list and third among active players. During the season, he passed Jeremy Roenick, Larry Murphy, Jean Beliveau, Norm Ullman, Phil Housley, Peter Stastny, Sidney Crosby, Jean Ratelle, and Al MacInnis. He currently sits at 1,278 points, good enough for first on the Caps’ All-Time list and second among active players, trailing only Joe Thornton (1,509). He currently sits at 36th on the All-Time list for total career points. Crosby is close behind him with 1,263 career points.
- Heading into the 2019-20 season, Ovechkin had recorded 553 assists, which ranked second on the Caps’ franchise list and 11th among active players. At the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, he has 572 assists, which puts him in 11th on the Active list and 105th on the All-Time List.
- Prior to the 2019-20 season, Ovechkin had played in 1,084 games, the most in the history of the franchise and 10th among all active players. He has now played in 1,152 games, which ranks eighth among active players, sixth among active forwards, and fifth among Russian-born players.
- Going into the 2019-20 campaign, Ovechkin had scored 107 game-winning goals, which ranked first among active players and seventh on the All-Time List. He now has 110 game-winning goals, which is tied for fourth on the All-Time list with Teemu Selanne and Brett Hull.
- When the season started, Ovechkin had scored 247 career power play goals, which ranks him at first on the Capitals’ All-Time franchise list, first among active players, and tied for fourth on the All-Time list with Luc Robitaille. He has now scored 260 power play goals, which keeps him in first on the Capitals’ All-Time franchise list and among active players, but now third on the All Time List. During the season, he passed Selanne.
- When the season started, Ovechkin had recorded 132 multi-goal games. He now has 145 multi-goal games, which ranks fifth on the All-Time List. In the process, he passed Mike Gartner, Marcel Dionne, and Phil Esposito on the All-Time list. He is currently in first place on the All-Time list for multi-goal games scored by a European-born player.
- Prior to the 2019-20 season, Ovechkin had 23 career hat tricks and was tied for 10th on the All-Time list with Jari Kurri. This season, he had four hat tricks and is now eighth with 27, passing Kurri, Cy Dennehy, and Maurice Richard.
- Ovechkin scored his 30th goal on January 16, 2020, in a road game against the New Jersey Devils. This marked the 15th consecutive year he has scored at least 30 goals. He and Mike Gartner are the only two players who have scored 30 goals in 15 consecutive seasons to start their career. Jaromir Jagr is the only other player who has scored 30 in at least 15 consecutive seasons, although his streak did not start until his second year in the NHL.
- Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the 2019-20 season against the Los Angeles Kings at home on February 4
- Ovechkin scored his 45thgoal of the year on March 1 against the Minnesota Wild, setting an NHL record as the first player with 11 seasons of 45 goals or more
- Ovechkin scored his 356th goal on the road on March 1 against the Minnesota Wild, moving him to third on the All-Time List for goals on the road, passing Gordie Howe, Brett Hull, and Jagr.
Nicklas Backstrom Milestones
- Before the season, Nicklas Backstrom had scored 231 goals and ranked fourth on the Caps’ All-Time Goals List. At the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, he has 243 goals and continues to rank fourth on the Capitals’ All-Time list and 41st among active players for goals scored in a career. He is also tied for 15th in goals among Swedish-born players with Tomas Holmstrom, passing Fredrik Modin, Bobby Nystrom, Patric Hornqvist, and Henrik Sedin in career goals.
- Going into the 2019-20 season, Backstrom had recorded 873 points in his NHL career. At the conclusion of the shortened campaign, he now sits at 927 career points. He recorded his 900th NHL point on December 20 at home against the New Jersey Devils. He now ranks seventh in career points among Swedish-born players, passing Peter Forsberg in career points this season. Backstrom was the first player from his draft class of 2006 to reach the 900-point milestone.
- Before the season started, Backstrom had 642 career assists, which ranked first in franchise history and sixth among active players. He now has 684 career assists and is fourth among active players, and 60th on the All-Time list. He ranks fifth in assists by a Swedish-born player, passing Henrik Sedin in career assists.
- At the beginning of the 2019-20 season, Backstrom had played in 895 NHL games, which ranked fifth in franchise history. At the end of the season, that number had risen to 956 games, which is now fourth in franchise history, as he passed Kelly Miller. He ranks 17th among Swedish-born players, 26th among active forwards, and 39th among active players.
- At the start of the 2019-20 season, Backstrom had 72 power play goals. He scored two power play goals during the season and is now in 29th place among active players, fourth on the franchise list, and 12th among Swedish-born players.
- At the start of the 2019-20 season, Backstrom had 284 power play assists. During 2019-20, he had 16 power play assists and now has a total of 300.
John Carlson Milestones
- Before the season started, defenseman John Carlson had played in 688 games and was 17th on the Capitals’ all-time list in Games Played. At the end of the season, he has played in 757 games, now ranking ninth on the Capitals’ all-time list, passing Steve Konowalchuk, Olaf Kolzig, Rod Langway, and Brooks Laich in Games Played for the franchise. He now sits in second place on the franchise list for Games Played by a defenseman, behind only Calle Johansson. He also ranks 33rd among active defensemen, ranks 68th among American-born players, 25th among active American-born players, and 42nd among American-born defensemen, and ninth among active defensemen, and third among active American defensemen .
- Prior to the season, John Carlson had 90 goals, which ranked 32nd in Capitals franchise history for career goals and eighth among defensemen. He scored 15 goals during the 2019-20 season and now ranks 29th in franchise history and fifth among defensemen. In the process, he passed forwards Bob Sirois and Jeff Halpern, defensemen Scott Stevens, and forward Marcus Johansson. He scored his 100th career goal on the road against the Los Angeles Kings on December 4, 2019.
- Prior to the season, Carlson had 403 points, which ranked 22nd in Capitals franchise history for career points and 19th among active NHL defensemen. After a productive 2019-20 campaign, he now has 478 career points, which ranks ninth in franchise history in points, first among defensemen for the franchise, 12th among active defensemen, ninth among active American-born defensemen, and 17th among active American-born players
- Prior to the season, Carlson had 306 assists, which ranked 11th overall and third among defensemen in franchise history. He now has 373 assists, which ranks sixth on the Capitals’ All-Time List, first among defensemen in franchise history, ninth among active NHL defensemen, 38th among active NHL players, third among active American defensemen, and ninth among active American players.
Other NHL Games Played Milestones
- Prior to this season, right wing T. J. Oshie had played 734 games in his NHL career. He played in his 800th career game at home against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 4. After the season, Oshie has played in 803 games, ranks 85th among active players, 57th among active forwards, 19th among active American players and eighth among active American-born forwards. He has played 362 games with the Capitals.
- Prior to this season, center Lars Eller had played in 685 games during his NHL career and ranked 80th among all active forwards. He played in his 700th NHL game on November 1, 2019 against the Buffalo Sabres. He now has played 754 games and ranks 63th among active forwards.
- Prior to this season, right wing Tom Wilson had played in 454 NHL games. He played in his 500th game on January 13, 2020 against the Carolina Hurricanes. At the end of the season, he had played 522 games and ranked 25th on the All-Time list of games played in franchise history and 13th among forwards.
- Prior to this season, defenseman Dmitry Orlov had played 447 games during his NHL career. He played in his 500th game on 2/2/2020 in a home game against Pittsburgh. After the season, he has played 516 games and now ranks 26th overall and 12th among defensemen. Only one other Russian has played in more games for the franchise on defense (Sergei Gonchar). He is 78th among active defensemen in games played and is fifth in games played among active defensemen
- Prior to the season, center Evgeny Kuznetsov had played in 416 games during his NHL career. He has now played in 479 games, now ranking 33rd in franchise history in games played and 19th among forwards.
- Nic Dowd played in his 200th career NHL game against the Colorado Avalanche at home on October 14, 2019
- Jakub Vrana played in his 200th career game on November 20 on the road against the New York Rangers, and has now played in 245 games
- Garnet Hathaway played in his 200th career game on the road against the Detroit Red Wings on November 30, 2019
- Michal Kempny played in his 200th career game on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 14, 2019
Other Offensive Milestones
- Prior to the season, Evgeny Kuznetsov had scored 101 career goals. When the season ended, he had 120 goals, which ranks 22nd in franchise history and 20th among forwards.
- Prior to the season, Kuznetsov had 337 career points. He now has 389 career points, which ranks 19th in franchise history and 14th among forwards. He passed Steve Konolwalchuk, Larry Murphy, Mike Green, and Adam Oates in franchise points. He ranks 105th among active players and 85th among active forwards. He also ranks seventh among active Russian players and 28th among all Russian NHL players.
- Prior to the season, Kuznetsov had 236 career assists. He now has 269 assists, which ranks 15th in franchise history and 10th among forwards. He passed Kelly Miller (246), Mike Green (247), Dennis Maruk (249), and Larry Murphy (259) on the franchise assist list. He is 18th among all active Russian forwards and 28th among all active Russians, he also ranks 90th among all active players and 66th among all active forwards
- Prior to the season, T.J. Oshie had scored 212 goals, which ranked 70th in goals among active forwards, and 72nd among all active players. He now has 238 goals, which ranks 43rd among active players, 43rd among active forwards, and 15th among active American-born players.
- Prior to the season, Oshie had 277 career assists. He recorded his 300th career assist on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 12. He now has 306 assists, which ranks 39th among active forwards, 55th among active players, and 16th among active American-born players and 12th among active American-born forwards.
- Prior to the season, Oshie had 464 career points. He earned his 500th career point against the San Jose Sharks on the road on February 14 and now has 518 career points. He ranks 43rd among active players, 36th among active forwards, 10th among active American-born players, and eighth among active American-born forwards.
- Prior to the season, Dmitry Orlov had 120 assists. He recorded his 100th career assist on 11/19/2018 in a road game against Montreal. He now has 143 career assists.
- Prior to the season, Lars Eller had 255 career points. He now has 294 career points.
- Prior to the season, Jakub Vrana had 80 points; he now has 132 points. He earned his 100th career point on November 29, 2019.
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