ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been named the NHL’s “First Star” for the month of January, the NHL announced today.
Ovechkin led all players with 12 goals, six power-play markers and 59 shots on goal in January to power the Capitals (25-15-10, 60 points) to a 7-3-3 record. Ovechkin registered points in nine of 13 contests (12 goals, three assists), highlighted by six multi-point performances and nine games in which he found the back of the net. That included a trio of multi-goal outings (Jan. 16 at NSH, Jan. 20 vs. EDM and Jan. 28 vs. PIT) as well as a pair of game-winning markers (Jan. 12 vs. COL and Jan. 28 vs. PIT). Ovechkin opened the month with two points (one goal, one assist) against Chicago in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, including the primary assist on Troy Brouwer’s game-winning goal with 12.9 seconds remaining in regulation. The Moscow native scored his 74th career game-winning goal on Jan. 12 against Colorado, passing Peter Bondra (73) for first place on the Capitals franchise game-winning goals list. On Jan. 28 against Pittsburgh, Ovechkin played in his 727th career game, passing Rod Langway (726) for seventh place on the Capitals games played list. Ovechkin also took part in his fifth career NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, collecting three assists for Team Foligno.
Ovechkin scored his 30th and 31st goals of the season on Sunday against St. Louis, joining Mike Gartner (first 15 seasons), Wayne Gretzky (13), Jari Kurri (10) and Mike Bossy (10) as the only players in NHL history to score 30 or more goals in each of their first 10 NHL seasons. In addition, Sunday marked Ovechkin’s 94th career multi-goal game, passing Peter Bondra (93) for first place on the Capitals franchise multi-goals game list. Since 2005-06, the only players who are within 40 of Ovechkin’s multi-goal-game total are Jarome Iginla (66) and Sidney Crosby (59). The 6’3”, 235-pound left wing has scored 15 goals in his last 15 games (12/29-2/1: 15g, 5a) and leads the NHL in goals (31), power-play goals (14) and shots (248) this season, ranks tied for first in game-winning goals (6), tied for sixth in hits (163) and tied for 11th in the League in points (48).