ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been named the NHL’s “First Star” for the week ending April 7, the NHL announced today.
Ovechkin led the NHL with seven goals and tied for the League lead with nine points in four games. He also paced all skaters with four power-play points, including two goals, raising his season totals to an NHL-best 14 power-play goals and 21 power-play points. Ovechkin began the week by scoring two goals, including the game-winner, and adding an assist in a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes April 2. He netted the lone shootout goal in a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders April 4 and then recorded his 12th career hat trick, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 4-3 triumph over the Florida Panthers April 6. Ovechkin closed out the week by scoring two goals in a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning April 7, bumping his season goal total to 25 – tied for first in the NHL with the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos
The 27-year-old Moscow native leads the Capitals and ranks tied for first in the league in goals and ranks tied for sixth in points. He has recorded 16 goals and seven assists in his last 14 games, including scoring his 20th goal of the season on April 2 at Carolina. The only other active players to score at least 20 goals in each of their first eight NHL seasons are Jaromir Jagr (17), Teemu Selanne (11) and Ilya Kovalchuk (10, through last season). Ovechkin became the 36th player in NHL history to score 20 or more goals in his first eight seasons in the league and became the only player to have scored 20 or more goals each of the last eight seasons (since 2005-06).
The Capitals have gone 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and currently lead the Southeast Division by two points. Washington is in the midst of a season-high, four-game winning streak.