ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been named the NHL’s “First Star” for the month of April, the NHL announced today.
Ovechkin led the League with 14 goals and 22 points in 13 games as the Capitals posted an 11-1-1 record en route to their fifth Southeast Division title in the last six years. He scored in nine of his 13 games, including four multi-goal efforts and his 12th career hat trick April 6 at Florida, and totaled eight multi-point performances.
His 14 goals set an April record and spurred the 27-year-old Moscow native to his third Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, awarded to the League’s top goal-scorer. Ovechkin 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. He 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 recorded his 30th goal of the season April 20 at Montreal, becoming the ninth player in League history to score 30 or more goals in each of his first eight seasons. His 32nd and final goal of the season came in his 600th NHL game April 25 vs. Winnipeg, giving him 371 for his career – the eighth-most by any player in League history through their first 600 games.
He played in all 48 games for the Capitals this season, finishing third in the NHL with 56 points and first with 16 power-play goals and 27 power-play points.