Alex Ovechkin returned to familiar territory on Tuesday, netting his 50th goal of the season.
The Washington Capitals forward reached the mark for the sixth time in his career in the first period versus the Carolina Hurricanes.
The 29 year old Ovechkin joins the list of names including Mario Lemieux, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky to have reached the milestone by scoring in the first period in the Capitals 4-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The crowd at the Verizon Center chanted “MVP” after Ovechkin netted his 50th goal on a quickly snapped wrist shot from just past the blue line. The Russian gave a definitive fist pump before raising both of his arms as his teammates gathered around him in a post-goal hug. Moments later during a stoppage in play, the crowd again rose to their feet to pay tribute while his teammates tapped their sticks in further support.
“We’re sort of immune to it now, really,” said Capitals teammate Mike Green. “We don’t’ expect it, but it’s amazing how he does it every year. It’s one of the most difficult things to do, and he seems to find a way to accomplish that season after season.”
Entering the league as a rookie in the 2005-06 NHL season, Ovechkin managed to score 52 goals. Two years later, he would tally his career best 65 goals and followed the next two seasons with 56 and 50 goals. The next three seasons, Ovechkin didn’t make it over 40 goals a season before finding his stride again last year, netting 51 goals.
Ovechkin’s final tally for the 2014-15 season is still to be determined, but as of right now, the count is enough to put him in the same company as some of the greatest to play the game.