WASHINGTON (AP) - Alexander Ovechkin scored three goals in the first period against the Boston Bruins on Monday night and netted a fourth in the third, giving him 53 for the season.
The Capitals star scored on a breakaway 6:18 into the game to become the first player in the NHL to reach 50 goals this season.
Fifty seconds later, he scored his 51st goal. He got No. 52, matching the career high he set in his rookie season of 2005-06, with 4:29 left in the first period for his fifth career hat trick.
Ovechkin's 53rd goal put the Capitals up 9-2 at 2:03 of the third period.
With 15 games remaining, Ovechkin has a chance to become the first player since Pittsburgh Penguins star Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 to reach 60 goals in a season.