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 7.
April 7, 1985: Mike Gartner scored twice to secure his first 50-goal campaign as the Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-3 in the regular-season finale.
Gartner, who entered play with 48 goals on the year, finished the game with two goals, two assists and a game-high 10 shots on goal. Gartner’s milestone marker gave Washington a 6-1 lead with 5:05 remaining in the second period at the Capital Centre.
Gartner joined Bobby Carpenter in giving the Capitals two 50-goal scorers in the same season for the first (and still the only) time in franchise history.
April 7, 2018: Alex Ovechkin had two goals as the Capitals beat the New Jersey Devils 5-3 in the 2017-18 regular-season finale. In need of a hat-trick in the final game of the season to ensure an eighth career 50-goal campaign, Ovechkin had to settle for a League-best 49 goals on the year.
Ovechkin became the first player since Mike Gartner in 1990-91 to finish the year with exactly 49 goals. While Ovechkin fell short in his pursuit of 50, he still tied Bobby Hull’s NHL record with his seventh career goal-scoring title.
Ovechkin’s 49 goals were five clear of his closest pursuer as Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine finished the season with 44 goals. At age 32, Ovechkin became the NHL’s oldest goal-scoring leader since Phil Esposito in 1974-75.