Alex Ovechkin scored an empty-net goal against the Winnipeg Jets with 51 seconds left to go in Friday’s game. Ovechkin’s mid-ice tally sealed an unlikely 5-2 victory for the undermanned Capitals who had five players lost to COVID-19 protocol ($25 million in salary).
The goal was Ovechkin’s 22nd of the season and the 752nd of his illustrious career. He’s on a seven-game point streak.
The tally gave Ovechkin more mind-bending history. He tied age 37 Brendan Shanahan for the most goals (22) by a player age 36 or older in their first 30 games of a season.
Most goals by a player 36 or older through their first 30 games of a season:
22- Alex Ovechkin (2021-22 after capping his @Capitals scoring in a 5-2 victory over the Jets)
22- Brendan Shanahan (NYR, 2006-07 at age 37)
19- Marcel Dionne (NYR, 1987-88)
19- Brett Hull (DAL, 2000-01) pic.twitter.com/IvWBOKasme
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) December 18, 2021
He also has the second-most points (47) in NHL history for a player age 36 or older.
Alex Ovechkin scored to extend his point streak to seven games (3-7—10) and boost his 2021-22 totals to 22-25—47 (30 GP), tied with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (16-31—47 in 28 GP) for the most in the NHL.#NHLStats: https://t.co/KduLEPYM9B pic.twitter.com/V8ZzpBn6D2
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 18, 2021
Among all aged players on the Capitals, Ovechkin has the second-most points in franchise history through 30 games, falling just one point short of Dennis Maruk who had 48 during the 1981-82 season.
Per #NHLStats, only one player in #Caps history has recorded more points than Alex Ovechkin (22 goals and 25 assists for 47 points) through their first 30 games in a season: Dennis Maruk in 1981-82, when Maruk had 25 goals and 23 assists for 48 points.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) December 18, 2021
Ovi’s empty-netter against the Jets was his fourth of the 2021-22 season. He’s never scored more than six empty-net goals in an entire season (since those stats were tracked in 2007-08), which he did twice in (2009-10, 2019-20).
Ovechkin’s 22 goals rank him second in the NHL, one behind Leon Drasaitl (23) for the league lead.
Ovi remains at the top of the league in goals due to his increased production at 5v5 and while trying to close out games with an empty net. Ovechkin has 12 goals at 5v5 (second-most in the NHL), which has made up for his slowing production on the power play (5 PPGs). Ovi also scored a shorthanded goal against the Rangers on Opening Night.
While the Capitals have been dominant at 5v5, they have been abysmal on the power play, connecting on only 16.7 percent of their opportunities – good for 25th in the league. That means that as good as Ovechkin has started the season, there’s room for more growth which should be terrifying to other teams across the NHL.
Screenshot: NHL.com/NBC Sports Washington
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