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Alex Ovechkin Joins Exclusive Company by Reaching 30-Goal Mark

Captain scored two more in 5-1 win over Montreal Saturday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Alex Ovechkin continued his torrid scoring stretch Saturday, scoring twice in the Capitals' 5-1 victory over the Canadiens.

    His two tallies -- an even-strength goal early in the first period and a power-play goal late in the third -- gave him a league-leading 30 on the season, a mark that he has reached every season since entering the NHL in 2005-06.

    Earlier this month, Ovechkin became the 36th player to score at least 20 goals in each of his first eight years in the league, but now that he has 30, he joins even more exclusive company.

    The 27-year-old is the ninth player in NHL history to score 30 or more goals in each of his first eight seasons, joining the New York Islanders' Bryan Trottier (1975-1983) and Mike Bossy (1977-1985), Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky (1979-1987), Jari Kurri (1980-88) and Glenn Anderson (1980-88), Washington's Mike Gartner (1979-1987), Winnipeg's Dale Hawerchuk (1981-1989) and Los Angeles' Luc Robitaille (1986-1994).

    Of course, all eight of those men are enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

    Ovechkin also tied an NHL record with his second goal Saturday, giving him 12 in the month of April. One more in his final three games and he will hold the record outright set by the Penguins' Mario Lemieux in 1993 and tied by the Jets' Alex Zhamnov in 1995, which was also a lockout-shortened season. That nugget courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau.

    If that wasn't enough, Ovechkin should end the season with the most shots in the NHL; he currently has 208, 26 more than his closest competitor, Winnipeg's Evander Kane. If Ovechkin does finish the season with a league-high in shots taken, it will be the seventh time in eight seasons in which he has done that (he finished sixth with 303 in 2011-12).

    Ovechkin's resurgence -- and Washington's as a whole within the past month -- makes a convincing case for him to win his third Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player.

    He has already won the Hart and Maurice Richard Trophies, awarded to the NHL's leading goal scorer, in the same season twice (2007-08, 2008-09), just one of two players to accomplish that feat (Anaheim's Corey Perry, 2010-11).


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