Alex Ovechkin sets one goal record, ties another with 2-goal performance originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
If it feels like Alex Ovechkin’s current goal-scoring pace is unbelievable, that’s because it’s never been done before. With his second period goal Wednesday against the Vegas Golden Knights, Ovechkin now owns the single-season record for goals by a player 36 or older. His 49 goals passes Teemu Selanne’s former record of 48 set in the 2006-07 season. Ovechkin then hit goal No. 50 in the third period, tying Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most 50-goal seasons in NHL history with nine.
Ovechkin came close to scoring the first historic tally in the first period as he snuck a shot through goalie Robin Lehner. The puck stopped behind the netminder, however, and Evgeny Kuznetsov swooped in to slam it home. Kuznetsov returned the favor in the second.
Some quick puck movement and an ill-advised line change gave the Caps a 2-on-1 with Kuznetsov feeding Ovechkin for the one-timer for the goal.
But he wasn’t done.
With Washington trailing 3-2 in the third period, Ovechkin teed up a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle to beat goalie Logan Thompson for goal No. 50 on the season.
Ovechkin’s remarkable durability has been noted throughout his career and is a major reason why his chase of Wayne Gretzky’s goal record of 894 is even believed to be possible. Most of the top goal scorers in league history climbed the leader board with monster seasons in their 20s and early 30s before seeing a sharp dropoff in production in their mid-30s. Gretzky himself never even scored 40 goals once he hit the age of 31.
Ovechkin, however, still shows no signs of slowing down. Since he turned 30, he has scored more than 45 goals in five out of seven seasons and has now reached 50 for the third time in seven seasons and the ninth time in his career.
Ovechkin’s 50 goals ties him for the record, but this season could have been the record-setter if not for the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season. In that year, he had 48 goals through 68 games when the season was paused and, eventually, ended freezing him at 48. Had the season continued, he would have easily hit the 50-goal mark that season as well.