Ovechkin equals Gartner’s record

Alex Ovechkin tied Mike Gartner’s record with a 17th NHL season of 30 goals when he found the back of the net against the Philadelphia Flyers at Capital One Arena on Saturday.

The Washington Capitals forward beat Carter Hart a backhand shot at 17:56 of the first period to tie the game at 1-1.

Ovechkin has scored at least 30 goals in 17 of his 18 NHL seasons, including his first 15. He had 24 goals in 45 games in 2020-21, when the NHL cut its season to 56 games due to concerns over the pandemic. Gartner, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001, hit the 30-goal plateau in 17 of his 19 NHL seasons before retiring in 1998.

Drafted first overall by Washington in the 2004 draft, Ovechkin is second in NHL history with 810 goals in 1,319 games. Only Wayne Gretzky is ahead of him with 894 goals. Ovechkin edged Gordie Howe (801) for second when he scored his 802nd goal in a game against the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 23.

Ovechkin and Gretzky tied the record for most 40-goal seasons (12). The Russian had joined Gretzky and Mike Bossy with a ninth 50-goal campaign last season. He could set new records in both cases as early as this year.

Ovechkin, Gartner (1979-80 to 1993-94) and Jaromir Jagr (1991-92 to 2006-07) share the record for 15 straight 30-goal seasons. Ovechkin and Gartner, who played his first 10 seasons with Washington, are the only players to score at least 30 goals in each of their first 15 NHL campaigns.

Gartner’s streak ended when he scored 12 goals in 38 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season. He then hit the target 35 times with Toronto in 1995-96 and 32 times with the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996-97.

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