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facts & figures

Facts and Figures: Capitals had decade to remember

Washington led NHL in regular-season wins during 2010s; Ovechkin tops in goals

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

The 2010s were a decade that fans of the Washington Capitals will remember fondly.

Not only did the Capitals win the Stanley Cup for the first time in their history in 2018, they led all NHL teams in victories during the just-concluded decade. Washington had 465 regular-season victories (465-232-90) from Jan. 1, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2019, one more than the Pittsburgh Penguins (464-240-80). It's the third-highest number of wins in a decade in NHL history and the most since the 1970s, when the Montreal Canadiens had 501 victories and the Boston Bruins finished with 487.

The Capitals were also No. 1 with 1,020 points, 12 more than the Penguins. However, Pittsburgh was one of three teams to win multiple Stanley Cup championships during the decade, and the only one to win in consecutive years: Pittsburgh (2016, 2017) and the Los Angeles Kings (2012, 2014) each won two titles; the Chicago Blackhawks (2010, 2013, 2015) were the only team to win three. The Capitals, Boston Bruins (2011) and St. Louis Blues (2019) each won one.

Washington also had the leading goal-scorer of the decade. Forward Alex Ovechkin had 437 goals, well ahead of runner-up Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who finished with 363. Ovechkin also led the NHL in power-play goals (171), game-winning goals (70) and shots on goal (3,469). Ovechkin's longtime linemate, center Nicklas Backstrom, was No. 1 in assists with 512, six more than forward Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Video: WSH@CAR: Ovechkin moves past Selanne on PPGs list

However, Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks led all scorers during the 2010s with 802 points, 14 more than Sidney Crosby of the Penguins (788) and 22 ahead of Ovechkin (780). Kane's biggest edge was health: He played 742 games to 630 for Crosby, who's been out since mid-November after core muscle surgery. Giroux (737), Stamkos (719), John Tavares (716) and Backstrom (700) were the only other players to reach 700 points. 

No defenseman had more points than Erik Karlsson (585), who was also No. 1 in assists with 453. Karlsson's teammate with the San Jose Sharks, Brent Burns, led all defensemen with 167 goals.

Phil Kessel, now with the Arizona Coyotes, led all players with 787 games played, two more than defenseman Keith Yandle of the Florida Panthers. Boston's Brad Marchand was No. 1 in plus-minus at plus-217; he and teammates Zdeno Chara (plus-208) and Patrice Bergeron (plus-203) were the only players to exceed plus-200.

Marc-Andre Fleury, now with the Vegas Golden Knights, led all goalies with 322 wins, 13 more than Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators (309), the only other 300-game winner in the 2010s. Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, who was third in victories (299), led all goalies in games played (579), starts (570) and ice time (33,774 minutes, 41 seconds.

Video: ANA@VGK: Fleury denies Kase, Silfverberg on the PP

Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins led all goalies (minimum 175 games played) with a goals-against average of 2.29, edging Ben Bishop, now with the Dallas Stars (2.30). Tim Thomas, Rask's predecessor as Boston's starter, was tops with a .922 save percentage; Bishop and Rask were next at .921. 


Some other best of the 2010s

The New York Islanders were No. 1 with 55 shootout wins, one more than the Coyotes.

The Penguins were No. 1 with 2,441 goals scored (including shootouts), and their 3.12 goals-per-game average was tops among the 30 teams that were in the League for the full decade. Tampa Bay was next at 2,424.

The Kings allowed the fewest goals (1,925), two fewer than the Bruins, who played one more game (788-787). Each team finished with a goals-against-per-game average of 2.44. 

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, led all players with an average of 1.33 points per game (436 points; 150 goals, 286 assists in 329 games). Crosby was second at 1.25, followed by teammate Evgeni Malkin (1.16), Stamkos (1.09) and Kane (1.08).

Video: MTL@EDM: McDavid reclaims the lead on power play

Marchand was No. 1 in shorthanded goals (26) and points (42). Michael Grabner, now with Arizona, was second with 22 goals and tied with Bergeron for second in shorthanded points with 29.

Lundqvist faced the most shots (17,177) and made the most saves (15,782). He and Kari Lehtonen led all goalies with 23 points (all assists). Three goalies (Mike Smith, Cam Ward and Martin Brodeur) were credited with goals during the decade. 

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