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Ovechkin joins elite company

Monday, 03.29.2010 / 10:19 AM / Player Profiles

By Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Ovechkin joins elite company
Alex Ovechkin's 100-point season marks the fourth time in five seasons he has reached triple digits. The only other players to do so in NHL history are Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Peter Stastny and Dale Hawerchuk.
WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin could join a revered group this season if he wins the Hart Trophy for the third-straight time.

With a goal and an assist in Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Calgary Flames at the Verizon Center, he did join a select club by reaching another milestone in his brief, but incredible, NHL career.

The two points gave him 100 for the season -- marking the fourth time in five seasons Ovechkin has reached triple digits in points. The only other players to do so in NHL history are Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Peter Stastny and Dale Hawerchuk.

"He's a great player in our League and he had a big part in trying to get us back in the game," Caps forward Mike Knuble said. "He gets his points and he deserves them because he works hard and he's a great player."

The other four players who have scored at least 100 points in four of their first five NHL seasons are all in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Gretzky, Lemieux and Stastny recorded at least 100 in each of their first five seasons.

Ovechkin had only 92 points in his sophomore season, but he's had at least 106 in each of his other three full seasons. He has seven games left to eclipse his career best of 112 points, and it isn't far-fetched -- Ovechkin had a stretch of 36 points in 18 games earlier this season.

"He doesn't need very much time or space to get that shot off," Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr said. "We really tried to tighten up on him, but he is really good on the power play."

Ovechkin might not be the only person to join the "4 in 5" club this season. Sidney Crosby had two points Sunday for the Pittsburgh Penguins and is only six from 100 this season.

Crosby is also one of the players who could challenge Ovechkin for the Hart trophy. If Ovechkin were to claim back-to-back-to-back MVP awards, he would join Gretzky and Bobby Orr as the only players to do so in NHL history.

Ovechkin won easily in 2007-08 after setting an NHL record for goals by a left wing with 65 and leading the League with 112 points while leading the Capitals on a dramatic surge into the postseason.

"He doesn't need very much time or space to get that shot off. We really tried to tighten up on him, but he is really good on the power play."
-- Robyn Regehr

Last season was another decisive victory in the MVP voting after leading the League in goals with 56 and finishing second to Evgeni Malkin with 110 points while helping Washington to a second-straight Southeast Division title. 

This season, Ovechkin could have better competition for the title of League's most valuable. He and Crosby are in a battle with Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos to lead the League in goals and Vancouver's Henrik Sedin is in front of him with 101 points.

Goaltenders Ryan Miller of Buffalo and Ilya Bryzgalov of Phoenix also are going to garner votes. Ovechkin does lead the League in plus-minus at plus-43, and being the dominant player on the probable Presidents' Trophy winner is also a point in his favor.

"It is great. That is good for him. We expect that out of him," defenseman Mike Green said of reaching the milestone. "He's a great player and his job is to produce. You can't say enough good things about Alex -- he is just the best player in the League."


Quote of the Day

We've got a team filled with captains, that's what I think. With these first two games we got in, we're really dominating and moving the puck really fast, and it's worked out really good.

— U.S. goalie Brandon Halverson after a 6-0 win against Germany in the World Junior Championship on Sunday