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 April 3.
April 3, 1996: Peter Bondra had four goals, including his 50th of the season, as the Capitals beat the Sabres 5-1 at Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium. Bondra became the fourth player in franchise history to reach the 50-goal plateau as he joined Dennis Maruk, Bobby Carpenter and Mike Gartner.
Michael Pivonka assisted on all four of Bondra’s goals against the Sabres, while Jim Carey made 16 saves in the win.
Bondra finished the 1995-96 campaign with 52 goals and 80 points in 67 games.
April 3, 2008: Alex Ovechkin recorded his 64th and 65th goals of the season, breaking Luc Robitaille’s single-season record for most goals by a left winger. Robitaille had 63 goals with the Los Angeles Kings during an 84-game campaign in 1992-93.
Ovechkin’s two goals helped the Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 at Verizon Center in the penultimate game of the 2007-08 season. It was also Washington’s sixth consecutive win as the Capitals would ultimately clinch a playoff berth two nights later – in their final game of the regular season.
Ovechkin would finish with career-highs across the board as he led the league with 65 goals and 112 points, en route to his first career Hart Trophy as NHL MVP.