The Washington Capitals and New York Islanders played a snoozer at UBS Arena on Saturday, but Alex Ovechkin made it all worth it in the end.
Ovechkin scored his league-leading sixth empty-net goal of the season to seal the 2-0 victory for the Caps. The win ended a four-game losing streak for the Capitals and stood up as one of the team’s most complete games of the season.
The goal also moved Ovechkin another tally closer to 99, 9, and 68.
The goal started with an unselfish play by Nicklas Backstrom inside the Capitals defensive zone as the Islanders tried to tie with their goalie pulled. The Super Swede blocked a huge Noah Dobson shot from the point with his shin pads, corraling the puck enough to bunt it towards Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuzy then dished to Ovechkin, springing him on a breakaway. Ovechkin skated the puck all the way down the rink alone and dunked the puck home.
I dunno, maybe he is hockey’s version of Michael Jordan?
Ovi 🤝 MJ
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 15, 2022
Here’s how the goal stacked up historically speaking.
The goal was Ovechkin’s 25th of the 2021-22 season, giving him sole possession of second place in the league behind Leon Draisaitl (26).
The goal was also Ovechkin’s 755th of his career.
According to the NHL’s PR, Ovechkin has now put up sixteen 25-goal seasons, the fourth-most in NHL history.
Alex Ovechkin (25-28—53 in 38 GP) of the @Capitals scored his 25th goal of the season to move within one of Leon Draisaitl (26-27—53 in 34 GP) for the League lead.#NHLStats: https://t.co/5VbETCHhcP pic.twitter.com/IUKAs29KKd
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 15, 2022
Ovechkin is also one of three players to accomplish that in their first 17 seasons.
Via his empty netter in a 2-0 @Capitals win vs NYI today, Alex Ovechkin is 1 of 8 players in NHL history with at least 16 career 25+ goal seasons. Of those, he's 1 of only 3 to have that many in their first 17 NHL seasons (falling 1 shy of 25 due to last year's 56-game schedule) pic.twitter.com/1yoa1xt0Rg
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) January 15, 2022
Per NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti, Ovechkin’s six empty-netters in 38 games equals his career-high from 2019-20 (in 68 games).
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