With the NHL season on pause due to the coronavirus, we’re digging into the archives for a look back at some great moments in Capitals history.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll present a series of ‘This Date in Capitals History’ features.
We continue with March 31.
March 31, 2015: Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 50th goal of the season as the Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 at Verizon Center.
Ovechkin became just the sixth player in NHL history with as many as six 50-goal seasons, joining Hall of Fame members Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Guy LaFleur and Marcel Dionne.
Ovechkin’s goal was a double milestone marker. It was also the 472nd goal of his NHL career as he tied Peter Bondra for the Capitals’ all-time goal-scoring record.
“That’s a tribute to his talent and to his ability to play every game,” said Capitals head coach Barry Trotz. “It’s a hard league to score goals in because the goaltenders are so good… But that’s part of being a great player in any sport – being able to produce all the time, no matter what’s thrown at you.”
Ovechkin, who matched Bondra’s 472 career goals in 206 fewer games, would break the club’s all-time goal-scoring record two nights later in Montreal.
Ovechkin would finish the 2014-15 season with a league-best 53 goals. Only two other players had has many as 40 goals that season (Steven Stamkos, 43; Rick Nash, 42).