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 2 and an audio bonus below from John Walton and the Capitals Radio Network:
April 2, 2015: Long considered the greatest goal scorer in team history, Alex Ovechkin made it official at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Ovechkin scored twice, including the 473rd goal of his NHL career, and passed Peter Bondra as the Capitals’ all-time franchise goal-scoring leader. The Capitals rallied to beat the Canadiens 5-4 in a shootout, with Ovechkin taking one final curtain call as the game’s No.1 star.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Ovechkin said at the time. “But records are to be beaten. Sooner or later, somebody is going to break my record. It’s nice to [make] history.”
Before Ovechkin, Bondra was the Capitals most dynamic offensive player. From 1990 through 2004, he set the standard with 472 goals and 825 points in 961 games. Ovechkin needed just 691 games to pass Bondra in points and 756 games to pass him in goals.
“Bondra was star, but Ovi is a superstar,” said former Capitals captain Jeff Halpern, who played with both. “Ovi has the capabilities where if he’s not scoring, he can run somebody over, he can dominate the game physically. Nothing to take away from Peter, but it’s an element with Ovi that makes him a true superstar.”
The win in Montreal also secured a milestone for head coach Barry Trotz as he became the 13th bench boss in NHL history with 600 career wins.