Patrice Bergeron joined some elite company with the Boston Bruins on Thursday when he scored his 20th goal of the season in a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden.
The center became the second player in Bruins history to reach the 20-goal mark in at least 11 seasons. He passed Rick Middleton, who did it 10 times, and trails only Hockey Hall of Famer Johnny Bucyk (16).
It's the seventh straight season Bergeron has scored at least 20 goals.
The Atlantic Division-leading Bruins improved to 28-9-12. They are third in the NHL standings behind the Washington Capitals (32-11-5) and St. Louis Blues (30-10-8). Boston also improved to 12-0-1 in its past 13 home contests against the Penguins dating to a double-overtime win in Game 3 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals.
Ovechkin reaches 30-goal mark for 15th time
Alex Ovechkin continues to climb numerous all-time lists.
The Washington Capitals forward became the second player in NHL history to reach the 30-goal mark in each of his first 15 seasons when he had a hat trick in the Capitals' 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils at Capital One Arena. He joins longtime Washington forward Mike Gartner, who scored at least 30 goals each season from 1979-80 through 1993-94.
The only other player to score at least 30 goals in 15 consecutive seasons at any point in his NHL career is Jaromir Jagr (1991-92 through 2006-07). Gartner (17), Ovechkin (15) and Jagr (15) are the only players in League history to have at least 15 30-goal seasons (consecutive or otherwise).
The hat trick was Ovechkin's 25th in the NHL, tying Cy Denneny for ninth all-time. He scored the 687th, 688th and 689th regular-season goals, moving him within one of matching Mario Lemieux (690) for 10th on the all-time list.
They were his 752nd, 753rd and 754th goals including the Stanley Cup Playoffs, moving him past Gartner (751) and Marcel Dionne (752) for sole possession of the ninth-highest such total in NHL history.
Ovechkin also had his 140th multigoal regular-season game, passing Dionne (139) for sole possession of the sixth-most in NHL history.
He scored multiple goals in at least two consecutive games within a regular season for the 16th time, tying Jari Kurri and Teemu Selanne for the seventh-highest such total in League history.
Center Nicklas Backstrom assisted on two of Ovechkin's three goals and has assists on 257 of Ovechkin's regular-season goals. The only players with more assists on regular-season goals by a teammate: Wayne Gretzky with Kurri (364), Bryan Trottier with Mike Bossy (310) and Henrik Sedin with Daniel Sedin (280).
Kovalchuk finding new life with Canadiens
Ilya Kovalchuk is looking like his old self with the Montreal Canadiens.
The 36-year-old forward scored twice in Montreal's 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center, giving him seven points (three goals, four assists) in seven games since signing with the Canadiens on Jan. 3. He had nine points (three goals, six assists) in 17 games with the Los Angeles Kings before being placed on waivers Dec. 16.
The two-goal game gave Kovalchuk 439, moving him past Pavel Bure (437) for sole possession of the fourth-most regular-season goals in NHL history among players born in Russia. He also became the oldest player to score multiple goals for Montreal since Andrei Markov (38 years, 95 days) did it against Ottawa on March 25, 2017.
Golden Knights win first under DeBoer
The Vegas Golden Knights made new coach Peter DeBoer a winner in his first game by defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-2 at Canadian Tire Centre. Vegas improved to 2-0-0 in games when a coach made his team debut. Gerard Gallant, who was fired Wednesday, got the win when the NHL's 31st team defeated the Dallas Stars 2-1 in its inaugural game on Oct. 6, 2017.
The Golden Knights are the third team in NHL history to win each of its first two games when a coach made his debut with the team. The others are the Montreal Canadiens (Dec. 19, 1917; 7-4 at Ottawa under Newsy Lalonde; Jan. 11, 1922; 3-2 at the Hamilton Tigers under Leo Dandurand) and the New York Americans (Dec. 2, 1925; 2-1 in overtime against the Pittsburgh Pirates under Tommy Gordan; Nov. 16, 1926; 1-0 at Pittsburgh under Lalonde).