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The Ovechkin Calendar: April

April might not feature many regular season games, but that doesn’t diminish the achievements Alex Ovechkin has recorded over his career in this month.

Washington Capitals v St Louis Blues Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

April is a month for cherry blossoms and warm days in Washington. And, while the regular season games in the NHL are fewer as teams prepare for the playoffs or a long summer, those games have been productive goal-scoring games in the career of Alex Ovechkin. Here is how the month breaks down over his career.

April by the Numbers

April is the fourth month of the calendar year, but the last one on the NHL regular season calendar. The instances of goal scoring are fewer, but they are no less important or noteworthy. Here are some of the most noteworthy facts and numbers with respect to Alex Ovechkin’s goal-scoring performance in April:

  • 52. Ovechkin has scored 52 goals in April over 14 years. That total ranks second to Teemu Selanne (67) since 1979-1980 for goals scored in April.
  • 38. Over 14 years, Ovechkin scored a goal in 38 different days in the April portion of the schedule.
  • 6. On each of three dates of the April calendar, Ovechkin scored six goals – April 2nd (in four games), April 6th (in three games), and April 9th (in three games).
  • 12. Ovechkin has 12 multi-goal games in April games over his career. He had four multi-goal games in 2013, his most frequent record of multi-goal games in the month, a product of that being the April of the abbreviated 2012-2013 season that started in January and extended later in April than any other season of Ovechkin’s career.
  • 2. Ovechkin recorded two April hat tricks in his career. The first came on April 6, 2013, when he posted three goals (including the game-winner) in a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. The other was on April 9, 2016, his last game of the 2015-2016 season (he was held out of the Caps’ season finale against Anaheim). He had three goals in a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues, the third goal being the 50th of his 2015-2016 season, his seventh career 50-goal season.
  • 50. On April 13, 2006, Ovechkin became the fourth rookie in NHL history to record 50 goals in his rookie season. Preceding him were: Teemu Selanne (76 goals in 1992-1993), Mike Bossy (53 goals in 1977-1978), and Joe Nieuwendyk (52 goals in 1987-1988). Ovechkin finished his rookie campaign with 52 goals. It came in the first period of a 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers.
  • 300. On April 5, 2011, Ovechkin scored against the Toronto Maple Leafs to give him 300 career goals. He was the sixth-youngest player to reach that milestone. Those doing it at a younger age included: Wayne Gretzky (22 years/321 days), Mario Lemieux (23/179), Dale Hawerchuk (24/308), Mike Bossy (25/60), and Steve Yzerman (25/176). Typically, it came on a power play from what would become known as his “office” in the left wing circle. The Caps beat the Leafs, 3-2, in a shootout.

  • 64. On April 3, 2008, Ovechkin scored a first period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning for his 64th goal of the season to become the all-time leading goal scorer in a single season for left wingers, passing Luc Robitaille, who posted 63 goals for the Los Angeles Kings in 1992-1993. It was the first of two goals by Ovechkin that evening, his second coming on a power play and proving to be the game-winner in a 4-1 win over the Bolts.
  • 14. Ovechkin scored 14 goals in April 2013, the highest goal scoring April of his career. That month included four multi-goal games.
  • 8. Ovechkin has eight goals scored against the Florida Panthers in April games over his career, most against any opponent.
  • 17. Ovechkin has goals against 17 different opponents in April games over 14 years.
  • 29. There are 29 goalies who allowed goals to Ovechkin over the course of 14 Aprils. Carey Price has been the most frequent victim, allowing five goals.
  • 5. Ovechkin has five empty net goals in April against five different teams: St. Louis, Winnipeg, Florida, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh.
  • 25. Ovechkin has 25 goals scored on home ice in April, tied with Joe Sakic and Pierre Turgeon for sixth place in goals scored on home ice in April since 1979-1980.
  • 27. Ovechkin’s 27 goals scored on the road in April are tied with Teemu Selanne for most April road goals scored since 1979-1980.

The Highlight Game

Sometimes the most noteworthy event comes, not late in career when milestones are met and passed, but right at the beginning. Such was the case for Alex Ovechkin and his April goal scoring ledger. One might not have expected an historic night in Boston between a pair of struggling teams, but it would turn out that way. The Caps opened the scoring against the Bruins on a second period goal by Dainius Zubrus, and Mark Stuart tied things up for the home team mid-way through the third period. That would be all the scoring in regulation for the two squads.

In overtime, Zubrus spun away from a Bruin defender at the right wing boards in the defensive end and sent a cross-ice pass to Ovechkin exiting the zone. Ovechkin skated the puck along the left wing boards to the center red line, and then he cut across the grain of the Boston defense. From the right wing circle in the offensive zone, Ovechkin used Stuart as a screen and wristed a shot that beat goalie Tim Thomas on the near side, and the Caps had a 2-1 win. For Ovechkin it was his 49th goal of his rookie season, but it was his 100th point, making him the first rookie in 13 seasons to post 100 points in his rookie year, the last being Teemu Selanne in 1992-1993. Ovechkin finished with 52 goals and 106 points on his way to winning the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.