Caps forward Ovechkin posts eighth 50-goal NHL season


Washington (AFP)

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the NHL season Saturday, reaching the milestone for the eighth time.

Ovechkin became the third player in NHL history to post eight or more 50-goal seasons, a list headed by Canadians Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy who both had nine.

The Russian last scored 50 goals in the 2015-16 campaign.

At 33 years old, Ovechkin -- who helped the Capitals to the Stanley Cup title last season -- is just the fourth player to score at least 50 goals at that age or older.

The last to do so was Jaromir Jagr, who was 34 when he scored his 50th in the 2005-06 season.

Ovechkin netted his 50th of the season with 5:25 left in the third period of Washington's 6-3 win over the Lightning in Tampa Bay.

His 51st came less than two minutes later on a power play.

Ovechkin, showing no sign of a hangover from last season's Stanley Cup campaign, is enjoying his best points-per-game pace since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

His .64 goals-per-game average is his best since 2014-15.

The Russian is on track to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's goal-scoring leader for the eighth time.