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2018-19 NHL season could be filled with milestones

Ovechkin can score 650th goal, Thornton nearing 1,500 games played, Luongo closing in on 500 wins

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2018-19 NHL season begins Wednesday, and in the coming days, weeks and months, there could be plenty of players reaching milestones. Here's a look at some which could occur.

 

GOALS

650: Alex Ovechkin -- The 32-year-old Washington Captals captain scored his 600th NHL goal last season and is 43 away from 650, a total 13 others in the NHL have reached. If he stays healthy, Ovechkin is a near lock. He scored 49 goals last season and at least 46 in nine of his 12 full NHL seasons.

450: Sidney Crosby -- The Pittsburgh Penguins captain scored his 400th goal, 700th assist and 1,100th NHL point last season, and is 39 goals from 450. He's only scored more than 39 goals once in the past eight seasons (44 in 2016-17), but it wouldn't be a surprise if the center gets there this season.

400: Joe Thornton, Eric Staal, Evgeni Malkin -- Thornton, 39, is three goals away and likely will reach 400 early in the season with the San Jose Sharks. Staal, 33, is five away and is coming off a season when he scored 42 goals with the Minnesota Wild. Malkin, 32, is the furthest away, needing 30 goals, a total the Penguins center has scored in each of the five NHL seasons he's played at least 70 games, including 42 last season. 

 

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POINTS

1,200: Crosby, Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau -- Forty-seven players in NHL history have reached 1,200 points and three have a chance to get there this season. Crosby has scored at least 84 points in each of the past five seasons (average: 90.2) and if he gets 84 this season, he'll become the second Penguins player to reach 1,200, joining Mario Lemieux (1,723). Ovechkin is 78 points away, a total he's surpassed in nine of his 12 full NHL seasons. It would take a 71-point season for Marleau of the Toronto Maple Leafs to achieve the milestone, a total he hasn't reached since he had 73 points with the Sharks in 2010-11.

1,000: Malkin, Staal -- Malkin is 70 points away, and if healthy, should have no problem getting there. Staal needs 78 points, which may seem like a reach considering he hasn't had that many since he had 82 with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2007-08, but he came close last season with 76 points in 82 games. 

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GAMES PLAYED

1,600: Marleau -- If he skates in 25 games, the 20-year NHL veteran will become the 11th player to appear in 1,600 games. Considering Marleau hasn't missed a game in the past nine seasons, including playing in 706 straight games (he's missed 31 games in his NHL career), it's likely the 39-year-old forward will reach the milestone.

1,500: Thornton, Matt Cullen -- Thornton missed 35 games last season with a knee injury but missed 12 total games in the previous 11 seasons. The center is on track to return for the season opener and would become the 19th player with 1,500 games if he plays in seven games.

Cullen, 40, is a 20-year NHL veteran who needs 55 games for 1,500. Signed to a one-year contract with the Penguins on July 1, he hasn't played fewer than 56 games in any of his 19 full NHL seasons, so there's more than a good chance he reaches the milestone. 

 

GOALIE WINS

500: Roberto Luongo -- The 39-year-old can become the third goalie in NHL history with 500 wins (Martin Brodeur, 691; Patrick Roy, 551) if he gets 29 this season. The Florida Panthers goalie has a combined 35 wins in his past two seasons but has surpassed 29 wins eight times in his NHL career. Luongo also needs 29 games played to pass Roy (1,029) for second place behind Brodeur (1,266).

450: Henrik Lundqvist -- The 36-year-old ranks second in wins among active goalies (431) behind Luongo and needs 19 wins for 450, a total five others have reached. Lundqvist has won at least 24 games in each of his 13 NHL seasons, all with the New York Rangers. 

300: Jonathan Quick, Carey Price -- Quick, 32, who ranks fourth in wins since the 2008-09 season with 292, is seven wins from 300. He won 33 games last season with the Los Angeles Kings and at least 33 games in six of the past eight full NHL seasons. Price, 31, needs 14 for 300. If he were to win 29 games, he would pass Jacques Plante (314) for most wins in Montreal Canadiens history.

 

COACHING WINS

900: Joel Quenneville -- The second winningest coach in Chicago Blackhawks history (446-243-93), Quenneville is 70 wins behind Billy Reay for first. Although he won't get there this season, he needs 16 wins to join Scotty Bowman (1,244) as the only coaches in NHL history with 900 wins.

600: Claude Julien, John Tortorella, Peter Laviolette -- In 16 NHL seasons, Julien has 583 wins with the Canadiens, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils. He's 17 away from No. 600. Tortorella is 575-462-101 (37 ties) in 1,175 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning, Rangers and Vancouver Canucks and 25 wins from 600. Laviolette has coached 1,087 games with the Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Hurricanes and New York Islanders (571-381-110, 25 ties) and needs 29 wins for 600.

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