Milestone Moments: Washington Capitals Career Milestones Reached in 2020-21

Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHL via Getty Images

While the 2020-21 NHL season was a shorter season than normal due to the coronavirus pandemic, it 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 2020-21 season, Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin had scored 706 goals in his NHL career, which placed him eighth on the NHL’s All-Time list, first among active NHL players, and the most by any player in Washington Capitals history. During the season, he passed Mike Gartner (708) and Phil Esposito (717),on the Goal-Scoring list. He currently has 730 career goals, which ranks sixth on the All-Time Goals Scored list. He needs just one goal to tie Marcel Dionne (731), 11 more goals to tie Brett Hull (741), and 36 more to tie Jaromir Jagr (766). If he exceeds 36 goals this coming season, he will be in sole possession of third place on the NHL’s All-Time list.
  • Going into the 2020-21 season, Ovechkin had recorded 1,278 total career points in his NHL. He recorded his 1,300th career point on 3/16/2021 against the New York Islanders.  He currently has 1,320 points, good enough for first on the Caps’ All-Time list and third among active players, trailing only Joe Thornton (1,509) and Sidney Crosby (1,325). He now ranks 35th on the All-Time List as he passed Alex Delvecchio (1,281) and Jarome Iginla (1,300) in career points.
  • Heading into the 2020-21 season, Ovechkin had recorded 572 assists. At the conclusion of the season, he has 590 assists, which ranks second in franchise history, 11th on the Active list and tied for 95th on the All-Time List.
  • Prior to the 2020-21 season, Ovechkin had played in 1,152 games, the most in the history of the franchise. He has now played in 1,197 games, which ranks seventh among active players, fifth among active forwards, fourth among Russian-born players, and first among active Russians.
  • Going into the 2020-21 campaign, Ovechkin had scored 110 game-winning goals. He now has 116 game-winning goals, which is fourth on the All-Time list and first among active players.
  • When the 2020-21 season started, Ovechkin had scored 260 career power play goals, which was third on the All-Time list. He has now scored 269 power play goals, which moves him up to second place on the All-Time List as he passed Brett Hull (265) on 4/8/2021 against the Boston Bruins. He is first on the Capitals’ All-Time list and among active players.
  • When the season started, Ovechkin had recorded 145 multi-goal games. He now has 149 multi-goal games, which ranks fourth on the All-Time List. In the process, he passed Gordie Howe on the All-Time list. He remains in first place on the All-Time list for multi-goal games scored by a European-born player.
  • Prior to the 2020-21 season, Ovechkin had 27 career hat tricks and was in eighth place on the All-Time list. This season, he did not have any hat tricks and remains in eighth place.
  • Ovechkin now has scored 370 goals on the road to pass Steve Yzerman (362) for second place on the All-Time List.
  • Ovechkin now has scored 360 goals at home and ranks twelfth on the All Time List

Nicklas Backstrom Milestones

  • Before the 2020-21 season, Nicklas Backstrom had scored 243 goals and ranked fourth on the Caps’ All-Time Goals List. He scored his 250th career goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on 2/14/2021. At the conclusion of the season, he has 258 goals and remains in fourth place on the Capitals’ All-Time list. He is tied for 34th among active players for goals scored in a career with Wayne Simmonds. He is also 11th in goals among Swedish-born players, passing Tomas Holmstrom, Patric Hornqvist, Mats Naslund, Loui Eriksson, and Peter Forsberg in career goals.
  • Going into the 2020-21 season, Backstrom had recorded 927 points in his NHL career. At the conclusion of the shortened campaign, he now sits at 980 career points, which ranks in 10th place among all active players and active forwards. He now ranks sixth in career points among Swedish-born players, passing Henrik Zetterberg (960) in career points this season on 3/28/2021 against the New York Rangers.
  • Before the season started, Backstrom had 684 career assists, which ranked first in franchise history and fourth among active players, and fifth among Swedes. He recorded his 700th assist on 3/5/2021. He now has 722 career assists and is third among active players, and 50th on the All-Time list. He ranks fourth in assists by a Swedish-born player, passing Daniel Alfredsson (713) in career assists on 4/13/2021.
  • At the beginning of the 2020-21 season, Backstrom had played in 956 NHL games, which ranked fourth in franchise history.  He played in his 1,000th game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on 4/15/2021. At the end of the season, he had played in 1,011 games, which is now second in franchise history, as he passed Peter Bondra (961) on 1/24/2021 and Calle Johansson (983) against the Buffalo Sabres on 3/15/2021. He ranks 14th among Swedish-born players, 22nd among active forwards, and 29th among active players.
  • At the start of the 2020-21 season, Backstrom had 74 power play goals. He scored five power play goals during the season and now has 79 power play goals which ranks fourth on the franchise list and is now tied for 27th place with T.J. Oshie among active players, tied with Oshie for 25th place among active forwards, and ranks 12th among Swedish-born players.
  • At the start of the 2020-21 season, Backstrom had 300 power play assists. During 2020-21, he had 17 power play assists and now has a total of 317. He ranks first on the franchise list, third among active players, and second all time for Swedish players.
Photo: @Capitals

John Carlson Milestones

  • Before the 2020-21 season started, defenseman John Carlson had played in 757 games At the end of 2020-21, he has played in 809 games and now ranks eighth on the Capitals’ all-time list, passing Mike Gartner (758)  in Games Played for the franchise. On 4/14/2021, Carlson played in his 800th career game, which occurred at home against the Philadelphia Flyers. He is in second place on the franchise list for Games Played by a defenseman, behind only Calle Johansson. He also ranks 76th among active NHL players, 22nd among active defensemen, ranks 98th among American-born players, 20th among active American-born players, and 37th among American-born defensemen, and sixth among active American defensemen.
  • Prior to the 2020-21 season, John Carlson had 105 goals, which ranked 29th in Capitals franchise history for career goals and fifth among defensemen. He scored 10 goals during the 2020-21 season and now ranks 24th in franchise history and third among defensemen for the franchise. In the process, he passed forward Craig Laughlin (110), forward Dino Ciccarelli (112), defenseman Calle Johansson (113), defenseman Mike Green (113), and forward Ryan Walter (114). He currently ranks eleventh in goals for active defensemen, eleventh for American defensemen, and first in goals for active American defensemen.
  • Prior to the 2020-21 season, Carlson had 478 points. After the 2020-21 campaign, he now has 522 career points, which ranks ninth in franchise history in points, first among defensemen for the franchise, twelfth among active defensemen, third among active American-born defensemen, 59th for American players, and 15th among active American-born players
  • Prior to the 2020-21 season, Carlson had 373 assists, which ranked sixth overall and third among defensemen in franchise history. He recorded his 400th assist on 4/14/2021 against the Philadelphia Flyers.  He now has 407 assists, which ranks fourth on the Capitals’ All-Time List, first among defensemen in franchise history, ninth among active NHL defensemen, 33rd among active NHL players, second among active American defensemen, ninth among active American players, and 40th among American born players.

Other NHL Games Played Milestones

  • Prior to the 2020-21 season, defenseman Zdeno Chara played in 1,553 NHL games which plzced him 16th on the All-Time List for Games Played. He passed Nicklas Lidstrom in career games (1,564) on 2/7/2021 against the Philadelphia Flyers. He reached the 1,600 Games Played milestone on 4/24/2021 against the New York Islanders.  When the season was over, he had played in 55 games so now has played 1,608 career games. He is now 13th on the All-Time List for Games Played and fifth place for defensemen, third place among active players and first place for active defensemen.
  • Prior to this season, right wing T. J. Oshie had played 803 games in his NHL career. After the season, Oshie has played in 856 games, which ranks 63rd among active players, 45th among active forwards, 16th among active American players and eleventh among active American-born forwards. He has played 413 games with the Capitals, which ranks 44th in franchise history.
  • Prior to this season, center Lars Eller had played in 754 games during his NHL career and ranked 63rd among all active forwards.. He now has played 798 games and ranks 55th among active forwards and 79th among active players.
  • Prior to this season, right wing Tom Wilson had played in 522 NHL games. At the end of the season, he had played 569 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 516 games during his NHL career which ranked 26th overall and 12th among defensemen. He is 78th among active defensemen in games played. After the season, he has played 567 games, which ranks 22nd overall in franchise history and 12th among defenseman. He also now ranks 62nd for active NHL defenseman. He is second among Russian defensemen in games played, second only to Dmitri Kulikov. Only one other Russian has played in more games for the franchise on defense (Sergei Gonchar).
  • Prior to the season, center Evgeny Kuznetsov had played in 479 games during his NHL career. He has now played in 520 games, now ranking 27th in franchise history in Games Played and 194th among forwards. He played in his 500th career game on March 20 against the New York Rangers. During this season, he passed Jason Chimera (490), Bobby Carpenter (490), Marcus Johansson (501), Dave Christian (504), and Jeff Halpern (507) on the franchise list in Games Played among forwards,.
  • Justin Schultz played in his 500th career game against the Boston Bruins on the road on 3/3/2021
  • Brendan Dillon played in his 600th career game on 1/15/2021 against the Buffalo Sabres on the road.
  • Nic Dowd played his 300th career game on April 27 against the New York Islanders at home
  • Nick Jensen played in his 300th career game against the New Jersey Devils at home on 3/9/2021
  • Garnet Hathaway played in his 250th NHL game on 1/30/2021 and in his 100th game with the Capitals at home against the New York Rangers on 3/28/2021

Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

Other Offensive Milestones

  • Prior to the season, Evgeny Kuznetsov had scored 129 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 389 career points. He now has 418 career points, which ranks 14th in franchise history and 10th among forwards. He passed Bobby Carpenter, Kelly Miller, Alexander Semin, and Dave Christian in franchise points. He ranks 96th among active players and 80th among active forwards. He also ranks sixth among active Russian players and 24th among all Russian NHL players.
  • Prior to the season, Kuznetsov had 269 career assists. He now has 289 assists, which ranks thirteenth in franchise history and 10th among forwards. He passed Sergei Gonchar (272) and Kevin Hatcher (277) on the franchise assist list. He is fifth among all active Russian forwards, all active Russian players, and 24th All-Time among all Russians, he also ranks 81st among all active players and 61st among all active forwards
  • Prior to the season, Kuznetsov had played in 479 games. He played in his 500th career game on 3/20/2021 at home against the New York Rangers. At the end of the season, he had played in 520 games which ranks #27 in Caps’ franchise history.
  • Prior to the season, T.J. Oshie had scored 238 goals, which ranked 43rd in goals among active players and active forwards, and 15th among American-born players. He now has 260 goals, which ranks 33rd among active players and 49th All-Time for Americans, 36th among American forwards, twelfth among active American-born players, and eighth among active American-born forwards. He scored his 250th career goal against the Boston Bruins at home on 4/8/2021. He scored his 150th goal for the Caps on 5/7/2021 against the Philadelphia Flyers and ranks 14th in franchise history for goals
  • Prior to the season, Oshie had 306 career assists. He recorded his 300th career assist on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 12.  He now has 350 assists, which is tied for 47th among active players, tied for 34th among active forwards, 11th among active American-born players and eighth among active American-born forwards. He recorded his 150th assist for the Caps on 4/15/2021 against the Buffalo Sabres and ranks 34th in franchise history for assists
  • Prior to the season, Oshie had 567 career points. He now has 610 career points. He ranks 34th among active players, 30th among active forwards, eighth among active American-born players, and eighth among active American-born forwards. He has recorded 300 points with the Capitals which is tied for 25th with Dmitri Khristich.
  • Prior to the season, Oshie had played in 803 NHL games and 362 games with the Capitals. He played in his 400th game with the Caps on 4/9/2021 against the Buffalo Sabres on 4/9/2021
  • Prior to the season, Dmitry Orlov had 143 assists. He now has 157 career assists.
  • Dmitry Orlov recorded his 200th NHL career point for his against the New York Rangers on the road on 5/5/2021. He was the 10th defenseman to reach that mark as a Capital.
  • Prior to the season, Lars Eller had 294 career points. He now has 317 career points. He recorded his 300th career point against the Buffalo Sabres at home on 2/18/2021

Further Reading
Milestones in Sight During the Washington Capitals 2020-21 Season
Washington Capitals First Trimester Review: 2020-21 Season
Washington Capitals Second Trimester Review: 2020-21 Season
Washington Capitals Third Trimester Review 2020-21 Season
Mountains of Milestones Washington Capitals Career Milestones Reached in 2019-2020
March- to More Milestones: Washington Capitals Milestones in Sight During the 2019-20 Season
Climbing the Books: Washington Capitals Career Milestones Reached in 2018-2019
Washington Capitals Milestones in Sight for 2018-19 Season
Washington Capitals Career Milestones Achieved in 2017-2018 Season
Washington Capitals Milestones in Sight for the 2017-2018 Season

By Diane Doyle

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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