Ilya Samsonov joined some rare company on Friday when he made 25 saves for the Washington Capitals in a 5-3 win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre for his 11th consecutive victory. The 22-year-old became the third rookie goalie in NHL history to win 11 straight decisions, joining Ross Brooks of the Boston Bruins (14-0-0 in 1973-74) and George Hainsworth of the Montreal Canadiens (11-0-0 in 1926-27).
Samsonov (16-2-1, 2.11 goals-against average, .925 save percentage, one shutout this season), is 10-0-0 on the road, moving him within one of tying Brent Johnson for the most road wins at the start of an NHL career. Johnson went 11-0-0 with the St. Louis Blues from Feb. 26, 1999 to Jan. 13, 2001.
Samsonov is also the fourth goalie in League history to win 16 of his first 20 games.
Ovechkin passes Messier on favorite date
Jan. 31 is Alex Ovechkin's most prolific date as a goal-scorer, so maybe it shouldn't have been a surprise he passed Mark Messier for eighth place on the NHL's all-time list on Friday with his 694th and 695th goals in Washington's win at Ottawa. The Capitals forward has scored 11 of his 695 goals in the 11 games he has played on Jan. 31, the most goals he has had on one date during his 15 NHL seasons; March 1 (nine goals in eight games) is second.
Washington's captain has 11 goals in his past five games, a first in his NHL career and the second such instance by any player age 34 or older; Joe Mullen of the Pittsburgh Penguins also scored 11 goals in a five-game stretch from Dec. 17-26, 1991. It's also the first time Ovechkin has had four multigoal performances in a span of five appearances.
The 34-year-old has leapfrogged four members of the Hockey Hall of Fame in the past 19 days -- Teemu Selanne, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Messier -- and is five goals from becoming the eighth player in NHL history to score 700 goals. He needs 200 goals to surpass Wayne Gretzky (894) for the most in League history.
Ovechkin is on pace to go from 600 to 700 goals in 154 games, which would be the fewest needed to make that leap for any member of the 700-goal club. It would also be the second-fewest games to get from one 100-goal milestone to another in his career.
The eight-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner tied Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the League lead in goals this season with 37. He's trying to become the third-oldest player to lead the NHL in goals behind Bill Cook of the New York Rangers (36) in 1932-33 and Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings (34) in 1962-63 (Howe turned 35 one week after the season ended; Ovechkin turns 35 on Sept. 17).
Crosby-Malkin duo keeps rolling for Penguins
The NHL's most prolific combination during the past 15 seasons came through again for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 4-3 overtime victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at PPG Paints Arena.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each had a goal and two assists, with Crosby getting the game-winner by scoring his 16th regular-season overtime goal. The centers have combined for 2,299 points (1,244 by Crosby, 1,055 by Malkin) since 2005-06. Washington's tandem of Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom are second with 2,178.
Malkin leads the Penguins in scoring this season with 53 points (16 goals, 37 assists) in 38 games. He's one of seven players who have played at least 30 games and are averaging at least 1.30 points.
Vasilevskiy continues streaks in Lightning win
Andrei Vasilevskiy continued his overall and road point streaks when he made 23 saves for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 4-3 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.
Vasilevskiy extended his overall point streak to 15 games (13-0-2), his road streak to 11 (9-0-2), earned his 150th NHL victory and his League-leading ninth in January. Win No. 150 came in in Vasilevskiy's 246th game; he joins Ken Dryden (241), Andy Moog (245) and Braden Holtby (246) as the only goalies in NHL history to reach 150 wins prior to 250 games played.
His 15-game point streak, which began on Dec. 17, is the second-longest in Lightning history behind Nikolai Khabibulin's 16-game stretch from Feb. 15-April 2, 2003 (12 wins, four ties). Vasilevskiy hasn't lost on the road since Nov. 19, and his road point streak is the longest in Lightning history.
Draisaitl takes over NHL scoring lead
Leon Draisaitl begins February as the top scorer in the League with 79 points (29 goals, 50 assists) after scoring two goals for the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-2 win against the St. Louis Blues at Rogers Place.
The center moved two points ahead of center and teammate Connor McDavid (77 points; 27 goals, 50 assists). He also extended his point streak to 10 games. It's the second time this season Draisaitl has had a point streak of at least 10 games; he's the first Oilers player to have two such streaks in the same season since Jimmy Carson in 1988-89.