Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin scored his 49th and 50th goals of the season in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, hitting a milestone that he’s seemingly made look easy year after year.
Vegas coach Peter DeBoer pulled starting goalie Robin Lehner after the first period and turned to Logan Thompson.
Ovechkin wasted no time in introducing himself to Vegas’ rookie netminder when he one-timed Evgeny Kuznetsov’s cross-ice pass to put Washington ahead 2-1 at 2:57 of the second period.
Ovechkin then got his 50th of the season and career No. 780 when he skated down the right side and blasted a shot Thompson had no chance to keep up with, tying the game at 3 with 6:24 left.
It marked the ninth time in his career that Ovechkin scored 50 goals, tying Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky for most in NHL history. The Capitals star debuted in 2005-06; no one else has more than two 50-goal seasons in that span.
But the highlights didn’t stop there.
Ovechkin, 36, is now the oldest player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season. And he joined Phil Esposito as the only players with three 50-goal seasons at age 30-or-older.
He also continued his move up the league’s all-time scoring charts. Goal No. 780 put him 21 shy of Gordie Howe’s 801 for second-most all time (Gretzky has the all-time record of 894).
The only negative for the Capitals and their star: The result was a loss.
Shea Theodore scored 2:09 into overtime, keeping the Golden Knights’ slim playoff hopes alive. Vegas has 89 points and is two back of Dallas for the second wild card in the Western Conference, and trails Los Angeles by three in the Pacific Division.
Information from ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press was used in this report.