Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ovechkin Tops 50 ... Capitals Own Boston!

Not only did he break the 50 goal mark in 2 out of the last 3 seasons, last night, he did it with style in the form of a hat trick. AO is sitting at 52 goals so far and with 15 or so games left in the Washington Capitals, it is any ones guess where he will finish the season. This milestone pushed him over the line to be the first in the NHL this season to break 50, at the same time, the 3rd in Washington's franchise history to do it twice. Dennis Maruk (50 goals in '80/'81 and 60 goals in '81'82) and Peter Bondra (52 goals in '95/'96 and '97/'98) are the two other Washington players to reach the 50-goal mark twice.

What a way to break out of a scoring slump. Before last night AO had only one goal in 8 games! Ovechkin's two assists gave him 38 on the season as Washington snapped Boston's six-game winning streak. Ovechkin seemed more concerned the Capitals continue to play with the intensity they showed against Boston, especially since they're in the hunt for a playoff spot. When asked about the win Ovechkin said "Just wait, we have lots of games left, and one game can mean nothing, we just have to continue to do what we did today, and try to play the same way on Wednesday." Washington coach Bruce Boudreau was confident Ovechkin would get revved up again. "When you go in an eight-game scoring slump, and you're that good, you're going to start scoring again," Boudreau said. "You just can't hold him back like you can't hold Crosby back and Malkin back for any length of time. Those guys are good hockey players." Ovechkin's linemate Nicklas Backstrom added three assists in the first period and scored once in the second period. Laich and Matt Bradley scored two goals apiece, and Eric Fehr added three assists.

Interesting Information on Ovechkin (source nhl.com)
* The first player to record 80-plus points in each of his first three years with the Caps
* The NHL's first star for the month of January; three times this year and has been one of the three stars of the week
* He is the first player since Jaromir Jagr in 1996-97 to record 40 goals before the end of January
* Scored two goals at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, the first Cap with two goals in an All-Star Game
* Has tallied a point in 40 of the last 51 games (40-29-69 in that time)
* Has 35 goals in 45 games under Bruce Boudreau
* Has 21-11-32 in the third period or OT and 13-5-18 in the final 10 minutes
* Scored the OT goal, his second of the game, 2/5 at CBJ to tie Peter Bondra and Kelly Miller for the club record with five career OT goals
* Had two four-goal and five-point games -- the first two of his career -- in a span of 34 days (12/29, 1/31)
* The first player since Peter Bondra and Mario Lemieux (both 1995-96) to record two four-goal games in one season
* Ranks tied for 19th in all-time career scoring for the Capitals (283 points) and 12th in career goals (147)

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