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Rocket Richard Trophy

Ovechkin leads NHL in goals for record-setting eighth time

Capitals forward defends Rocket Richard Trophy with 51, one more than Draisaitl

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

Alex Ovechkin led the NHL in goals for a record-setting eighth time.

The Washington Capitals forward scored 51 goals this season to win the Rocket Richard Trophy, holding off Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who was second with 50.

Ovechkin broke a tie with Bobby Hull, who led the NHL seven times.


[RELATED: Maurice Richard Trophy WinnersNHL Awards and Trophy winners]


Ovechkin led the NHL with 49 last season, and in 2007-08 (65), 2008-09 (56), 2012-13 (32), 2013-14 (51), 2014-15 (53) and 2015-16 (50).

The No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, Ovechkin (33 years and 201 days old) is the sixth player to lead the NHL in goals at age 33 or older, the first since Phil Esposito in 1974-75 (33 years, 45 days for the Boston Bruins). The other players to do so are Bill Cook in 1932-33 (36 years, 165 days for the New York Rangers), Gordie Howe in 1962-63 (34 years, 358 days for the Detroit Red Wings), Nels Stewart in 1936-37 (34 years, 82 days for the Bruins and New York Americans), and Maurice Richard in 1954-55 (33 years, 228 days for the Montreal Canadiens).

Ovechkin reached 50 goals for the eighth time in his 14-season NHL career when he scored No. 50 and No. 51 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 30. Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings) and Mike Bossy (New York Islanders) hold the record with nine 50-goal seasons.

"I've had a couple of chances in previous years to score 50 but I didn't," Ovechkin said. "You always want to do something special, obviously, but sometimes it's hard. I'm happy to get it done."

Video: WSH@TBL: Ovechkin ties Robitalle with power-play goal

Ovechkin became the first player in NHL history with 10 seasons of at least 45 goals when he scored in a 3-1 win against the Islanders on March 1.

"He's played that way for a long time and he continues to just blow the roof off with his goal-scoring," Capitals forward Tom WIlson said. "We're pretty lucky to have him around, and he deserves it for sure."

Ovechkin is 13th in NHL history with 658 goals, and 14th with 1,211 points. His 247 power-play goals, including 18 this season, are tied with Luc Robitaille for fourth in NHL history.

Named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian in 2017, Ovechkin has won the Hart Trophy (MVP) three times, the Art Ross Trophy (scoring champion) once, and was the Calder Trophy winner as NHL rookie of the year in 2005-06. He is the only player in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP), a Calder, an Art Ross, a Hart, a Ted Lindsay Award (voted best player) and a Richard Trophy.

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