88 seconds into last night’s do-or-die Game 6 against the visiting New York Rangers, Alex Ovechkin sent a howitzer of a one timer high over Henrik Lundqvist’s glove to give the Washington Capitals the early lead. The power play blast was the Captain’s 30th career playoff goal, and tied him for the franchise lead him with Peter Bondra, who netted 30 in 80 career playoff games. Surpassing the 30 goal mark in a players’ first 50 playoff games is a rare feat, not having been surpassed since the Colorado Avalanche’s Joe Sakic in 1997 who netted 33. As James Mirtle points out, Ovechkin’s 0.60 playoff goals per game is better than such notible names as Wayne Gretzky, Pavel Bure, Jari Kurri, and Brett Hull – with only Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Maurice Richard and Cam Neely higher.
Ovechkin now holds or shares seven franchise records in his seven seasons with the club including most goals in a season, most power play goals in a season, and most shots in a season. In addition to tying Bondra’s record, Ovechkin is now within one point of tying Mike Ridley for 2nd all-time.
The goal continued the trend of Ovechkin rebounding in a big way after being held without a shot on goal. In his career, Ovi has been held with out a SOG only five times prior to Monday’s 3-2 overtime loss in Game 5, the first time in 26 consecutive playoff games. He averages 6.3 SOG in games after not being able to put the puck on the net with 5 goals, 5 assists for 10 points. In games facing elimination, Ovechkin has collected 7 goals, 6 assists in 13 games.
The record-tying goal: