Washington Capitals superstar Left Wing, Alex Ovechkin, scored his NHL leading 40th goal on Sunday in a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. In typical fashion, Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game 4:58 into the first period, on a one-timer from the left face-off circle, with one second remaining in a power play the captain drew himself (on a trip from Ducks Defender Hampus Lindholm).

This marks the second consecutive season and fifth of the last six seasons where Ovechkin has scored at least 40 goals. Having reached the 40-goal mark in 10 of his 14 career seasons, Ovechkin joins the elite company of Wayne Gretzky (12), Marcel Dionne (10), and Mario Lemieux (10) as the only players to ever do so in at least 10 seasons. Ovechkin and Lemieux are the only players to do so with the same team (Lemieux scored 40 goals in 10 seasons for the Pittsburgh Penguins).

Adding to the impressiveness of this achievement, Ovechkin scored Sunday’s record tying goal seven games faster than his 40th goal last year and became the NHL’s first player to reach 40 goals for the eighth time in his career. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this achievement is the expediency with which Ovechkin has reached 40 goals in each of the 10 seasons:

2005-2006: 59 Games

2006-2007: 70 Games

2007-2008: 52 Games

2008-2009: 55 Games

2009-2010: 51 Games

2013-2014: 54 Games

2014-2015: 64 Games

2015-2016: 58 Games

2017-2018: 65 Games

2018-2019: 58 Games

At his current pace, Ovechkin is projected to score 58 goals this season, the second most of his career (he scored 65 in the 2007-2008 season). Should he go on (as projected) to win the NHL goal scoring title this season, Ovechkin would cement his place in the record books as the only player to do so in eight seasons. Ovechkin already holds the all-time scoring record for Russian born players, having surpassed former teammate Sergei Federov earlier this month. Ovechkin has scored 649 career goals, seven short of Brendan Shanahan for 13th in NHL history. With his sights set on Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record of 894 regular season goals, 33 year old Alex Ovechkin has given no signs of letting up on his chase to be the greatest scorer in NHL history.


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