In typical Ovie fashion, the Washington Capitals winger one-timed a shot past Blues goalie Ryan Miller at 17:54 of the first period for his 50th goal of the season Tuesday night in St. Louis.
For Ovechkin, who began the night with a 49-42 lead over Anaheim’s Corey Perry in the race for the “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal-scorer, it was his 23rd goal on the power play this season, both league highs.
Ovechkin is the 11th player to score at least 50 goals in a season five times, joining former NHL stars Pavel Bure, Phil Esposito, Bobby Hull, Brett Hull and Steve Yzerman.
Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky achieved the feat nine times, while Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux score at least 50 goals on six occasions.
A week ago, Capitals head coach Adam Oates called out Ovechkin, questioning the player’s commitment to defence. After a lacklustre forecheck, Ovechkin coasted through the neutral zone coming back and watched Ray Whitney blow by him and set up a Dustin Jeffrey goal.
The 50-goal campaign is Ovechkin’s first since the 2009-10 season but far off the Russian forward’s single-season high of 65 accomplished six years ago.
Ovechkin entered Tuesday’s contest 12th in NHL scoring this season with 74 points
Watch the video above to see how he reached the 50-goal plateau on Tuesday and share your thoughts on his career below.