ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin led the NHL in goals in the 2012-13 regular season, which completed tonight, earning him the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy awarded annually to the NHL’s leading goal scorer.
Ovechkin scored 32 goals this season to earn his third Richard Trophy in his career and became the first player in the trophy’s 13-year history to win the award three times. The last 13-year period in NHL history when one player didn’t lead the NHL in goals at least three times was between 1937-49. Ovechkin is the second Capital to lead the league in goals, joining Peter Bondra (1994-95 and shared the lead in 1997-98) and became the oldest player (27) to lead the league in goal scoring since Pavel Bure (29) in 2000-01.
Ovechkin also led the NHL in power-play goals (16), shots on goals (220) and tied teammate Mike Ribeiro for the league lead in power-play scoring (27). Ovechkin finished with 56 points (32 goals, 24 assists), tied for third in the league in scoring.
Ovechkin scored his 32nd goal of the season in his 600th career NHL game versus Winnipeg on Apr. 25 at Verizon Center. His 371 career goals are the eighth-most by any player in NHL history through their first 600 career games.
Earlier this season Ovechkin also became the third-fastest active player to reach the 700-point plateau, behind only Teemu Selanne (541) and Jaromir Jagr (557) and the fastest player to reach 700 points since Peter Forsberg did so in his 549th game in October 2003. Ovechkin became just the third Capital (Peter Bondra and Mike Gartner) to record 700 or more points as a member of Washington and just the 22nd player to record 700 or more points in his first eight seasons.
This was the eighth consecutive season that Ovechkin has tallied 30 or more goals. The Caps captain is the only player to have recorded 30 or more goals each season since 2005-06 and is one of just nine players in NHL history to score 30 goals in each of his first eight seasons in the League, joining Glenn Anderson, Mike Bossy, Mike Gartner, Wayne Gretzky, Dale Hawerchuk, Jari Kurri, Luc Robitaille and Bryan Trottier in that accomplishment.
The NHL formally presents the Art Ross and Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophies during the NHL Awards Show.