With 95 seconds left in Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, Alex Ovechkin’s stat line contained just one goal.
But as soon as Detroit goalie Jonathan Bernier left the ice for an extra skater, Ovechkin entered beast mode, notching two empty-net goals in forty seconds to record his 24th career hat trick — the oddest hat trick of his career.
Ovechkin’s first goal of the evening was basically unprecedented: a sneaky wraparound you might expect from Evgeny Kuznetsov. No one expected that from Ovechkin.
Cut to an hour later as Jonathan Bernier left the ice. Ovechkin’s first ENG was a layup made possible by TJ Oshie’s hard work clearing the defensive zone. The celebration was low-key. It was unremarkable.
And then the coup de grace. This one was wild. Ovechkin’s active stick stopped Detroit’s breakout, then Ovechkin fought off Filip Hronek’s desperate interference from behind to complete the trick.
After the goal, Dylan Larkin knocked Alex Ovechkin down and slammed his stick against the goal post, catching Ovi in the skate. It’s unclear how deliberate that was.
“A hat trick is hat trick,” Ovechkin said after the game. “It’s always nice to put it in.”
Per Capitals PR, only five players have completed hat tricks with two-empty net goals before Ovechkin.
Ovechkin just became the 15th player in NHL history to score at least two empty net goals in a game and the sixth player in NHL history to complete a hat trick with two empty net goals.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 1, 2019
Ovechkin now passes Jarri Kurri to take 10th place in all-time career hat tricks. He also climbs in the Rocket Richard race with 20 goals.
Alex Ovechkin of the @Capitals scored his 24th career regular-season hat trick to pass Jari Kurri (23) for sole possession of 10th place on the NHL’s all-time list. https://t.co/EQtnZlThC5 #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/YrdnmKrR3m
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 1, 2019
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