Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored an empty net goal at 19:58 of the third period in the Capitals 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday. The tally gave the Capitals a much-needed insurance goal, increasing their lead to 4-2, but it was also Ovechkin’s 45th goal of the season, moving him into sole possession of second place for most goals by a player 36-years-old or older.
Heading into Sunday’s game, Ovechkin was tied with Gordie Howe for second place in goals scored by a player age 36 or older. Howe scored 44 goals during the 1968-69 season at the age of 40 for the Detroit Red Wings.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 10, 2022
The only player who has scored more goals during a season after turning 36 is Teemu Selanne, who scored 48 goals for the Anaheim Ducks as a 36-year-old during the 2006-07 season.
With his goal, Ovechkin passed Gordie Howe (1968-69: 44g) for the second-most goals in a season by a player aged 36 or older. Only Teemu Selanne (2006-07: 48g) has scored more goals in a season at age 36 or older.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) April 10, 2022
This was also the 775th goal of Ovechkin’s NHL career, leaving him just 25 goals shy of the 800-goal threshold and 26 goals shy of tying Gordie Howe for second place on the all-time list for NHL career goals.
This was not the only notable achievement for Ovechkin on Sunday. It marks the 12th season he has scored 45 or more goals, which is the most all time. The next highest are Wayne Gretzky and Michael Bossy with nine seasons of 45 or more goals.
Ovechkin’s goal was also his 100th career goal in the month of April (100-86—186) and tied him with Wayne Gretzky for the most career months with 100-plus goals in NHL history. (January, February, March, April, October, November & December).
Finally, Ovechkin’s goal was his ninth empty net goal of the season, which ties Pavel Bure’s single-season record he set back in 1999-2000.
Will The Thrill
Alex Ovechkin wasn’t the only Capitals player to achieve a milestone in today’s victory over the Bruins. Tom Wilson set a new NHL career-high with his 23rd goal and reached 50 points for the first time in his nine seasons. Wilson scored his goal at 14:50 into the second period. It tied the game at 2-2. He got assists from Lars Eller and Anthony Mantha.
The Capitals will have the day off on Monday before they begin preparing for the Philadelphia Flyers, who come to town on Tuesday. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM on TNT.
By Diane Doyle