The Washington Capitals took the league’s best Tampa Bay Lightning to the cleaners in their own barn. The 6-3 victory was the Caps first in the three game series set all played in March where the Caps ended up 1-1-1.
The Caps out-shot the Ning 35 to 28.
- Lets start from an overall team standpoint. The Caps took it to the Lightning and dominated them for long stretches of play like they did in the past two games, but did so for even longer in this game. Add on the fact that the good guys had their shooting gloves on tonight and you get this really, really satisfying victory. I am confident that the Caps can play with these guys if it comes to another seven game series (cross your fingers).
- The headliner here is obviously Alex Ovechkin. Ovi scored his 50th and 51st goals of the season, giving him eight career fifty goal seasons. That is a mark that only three NHL players have ever reached, the other two being Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky each with nine.
- Ovi’s 51st goal of the season came on the power play, giving him his 132nd career multi goal game (passing Teemu Selanne for sole possession of eighth all time) and moving him past Phil Esposito (246) in power play goal scoring and tying Luc Robitaille‘s 247 goal mark at fourth all time.
- Lets keep going. Ovi is also only the fifth player in NHL history to record multiple 50-goal seasons at the age of 30 or older. The other four were Esposito (four times), Mario Lemieux (twice), Marcel Dionne (twice), and Bobby Hull (twice). He is also the first player in the league to reach 50 goals in a singular season for the seventh time. The only other players in NHL history who were the first to reach the 50-goal mark in a season four or more times are Esposito (five times), Gretzky (four times), and Bobby Hull (four times).
- Number of career fifty goal seasons for Alex Ovechkin? Eight. Number of career fifty goal seasons for literally every other player currently in the NHL? Seven (Ilya Kovalchuk twice, Steven Stamkos twice, Sidney Crosby once, Evgeni Malkin once, Corey Perry once).
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 31, 2019
- Believe it or not, other players scored in this game. Nicklas Backstrom got on the board twice, the first being his 20th goal of the season. That goal makes him one of only two active players (Joe Thornton, 2002-03 through 2009-10) to record at least four consecutive seasons with 20-plus goals and 50-plus assists.
- The Caps now lead the league in 20-goal scorers with seven. This is the fifth time in franchise history that the Caps have had at least seven players with 20 goals. This season’s unit includes Ovechkin (51), TJ Oshie (25), Jakub Vrana (23), Tom Wilson (22), Brett Connolly (22), Backstrom (21), and Evgeny Kuznetsov (20).
- The win puts the Caps at 102 points on the season and keeps them three points ahead of the Islanders who also won on Saturday night. It’s pretty crucial that the Caps keep that same distance from the Islanders as the final game of the regular season pits the two teams against each other in DC.
Headline photo: Scott Audette