Alex Ovechkin is arguably the greatest goal-scorer of all time and approaching a regular-season goals record many once believed was unbreakable. While Ovechkin has accomplished an incredible amount of things during his career, there is one thing that eludes him: scoring a playoff overtime goal. (Perhaps the Hockey Gods believe the world would explode with the energy released in the proceeding goal celebration.)
After being eliminated by the Florida Panthers in six games, Ovechkin went without scoring a playoff OTGWG in a postseason run for the 14th time in his career.
But let’s put this incredible stat in perspective.
Ovi has scored the most OT goals in NHL history.
Ovechkin holds the record for regular-season overtime goals with 24, five more than the next closest players, Sidney Crosby and Jaromir Jagr. Ovechkin eclipsed Jagr on October 20, 2017, in a game against the Detroit Red Wings. He’s so clutch in the extra frame that it’s been nicknamed Ovitime.
No active player has scored more playoff goals than Ovi.
Among active players, Ovechkin has the most playoff goals with 72. He also owns the record for most career playoff hits.
Most career #StanleyCup Playoff goals among active NHL players:
72- Alex Ovechkin
71- Sidney Crosby
67- Evgeni Malkin
64- Joe Pavelski
52- Patrick Kane
49- Corey Perry (Converting on the PP to give his @TBLightning a 1-0 lead vs FLA tonight)
49- Brad Marchand
49- Patrice Bergeron pic.twitter.com/gZ7RxMTksg
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) May 19, 2022
Every series the Capitals have played in since 2008, Ovechkin has scored at least once.
Ovechkin has scored in every postseason series he’s ever appeared in (23) during his illustrious career, but never an overtime winner. That’s happened despite ample opportunities.
During the Capitals’ championship run in 2018, the Capitals captain scored 15 times, including three goals in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. That tied for the series lead with Devante Smith-Pelly (3), Reilly Smith (3), and Tomas Nosek (3). In the first round, the Capitals played four overtime games against the Columbus Blue Jackets, which tied for the second-most in playoff series history. During the Ovechkin Era, the Capitals played an NHL record five overtime games against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 2017 playoffs series and four again in a 2012 first-round matchup against the Boston Bruins.
28 players have scored a playoff OTGWG for WSH including Peter Bondra and Nicklas Backstrom.
Per NHL Stats (as of Friday, May 20, 2022), 665 players in NHL history, including 133 active players, have scored at least one overtime goal in the playoffs.
That includes 28 Capitals players:
Nicklas Backstrom (4)
Joe Juneau (2)
Dino Ciccarelli (2)
Tom Wilson (1)
Evgeny Kuznetsov (1)
Nic Dowd (1)
Marcus Johansson (1)
Lars Eller (1)
Kevin Shattenkirk (1)
TJ Oshie (1)
Mike Green (1)
Alexander Semin (1)
David Steckel (1)
Justin Williams (1)
Brooks Orpik (1)
Joel Ward (1)
Mike Ribeiro (1)
Jason Chimera (1)
Kelly Miller (1)
Rod Langway (1)
Todd Krygier (1)
Dale Hunter (1)
Alan Haworth (1)
Mike Gartner (1)
John Druce (1)
Peter Bondra (1)
Brian Bellows (1)
Some of the most clutch players in NHL history have never scored a ‘loffs OTGWG either.
While Ovechkin has not scored a playoff OTGWG, he is joined on that O-fer list by clutch Hall of Fame players like Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, and Mark Messier.
Good nugget from @espnSteveLevy and the crew on ESPN
Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux and Mark Messier never scored an OT game-winner in the #StanleyCupPlayoffs
Turns out, Alex Ovechkin has good company
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) May 19, 2022
Ovechkin could have up to four more playoff opportunities to finally record an OT playoff goal.
Ovechkin is under contract for the next four seasons and the Capitals plan to field competitive teams. Not only could Ovechkin catch Gretzky, he could also accomplish this career first, too.
Headline photo: Amanda Bowen/RMNB
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