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Three-goal lead for Ovechkin in Rocket race

Friday, 04.26.2013 / 11:32 AM
Corey Masisak  - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy has been around for 13 years, and it has been a period of sniper parity compared to most eras of NHL history.

No player has claimed the Richard Trophy more than twice in its 13-year existence. The last 13-year period in NHL history when one player didn't lead the League goals at least three times was between 1937 and 1949.

Richard led the League for a third time in 1949-50, and from that point until this recent era, the NHL's goal-scoring title was dominated by Richard, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull and Teemu Selanne, who was the last player to do it three times (1992-93, 1997-98 and 1998-99).

This is relevant because the two players atop the NHL leaderboard in goals each have a pair of Richard trophies on their resumes. The Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin claimed the trophy in 2008 and 2009, and the Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos won it last season and claimed a share of the award in 2010.

Here is a look at Stamkos, Ovechkin and the two other top contenders for the Richard Trophy this season, John Tavares of the New York Islanders and Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter, as the season reaches the stretch run:

ALEX OVECHKIN, CAPITALS

2012-13: 32 goals in 47 games

Thursday: Scored a goal in 2-1 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators

Games remaining: 1

Upcoming schedule:

-April 27 vs Boston -- no goals in two games

STEVEN STAMKOS, LIGHTNING

2012-13: 29 goals in 47 games

Thursday: Goal and an assist in a 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs

Games remaining: 1

Upcoming schedule:

-April 27 vs. Florida -- four goals in three games

JOHN TAVARES, ISLANDERS

2012-13: 28 goals in 47 games

Thursday: Scored a goal in a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers

Games remaining: 1

Upcoming schedule:

-April 26 at Buffalo -- two goals in two games

JEFF CARTER, KINGS

2012-13: 26 goals in 47 games

Thursday: Did not score in 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings

Games remaining: 1

Upcoming schedule:

-April 27 vs. San Jose -- no goals in three games

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