Alex Ovechkin, who has been red-hot lately, enters Saturday’s game against the Flyers two goals from becoming the eighth player in league history with 700. He has 14 goals in his last seven games — and six in four games since the midseason break, which kind of makes that one-game, mandatory league suspension for skipping the All-Star Game look even more stupid.
Here are the leading regular-season goal scorers in NHL history.
Notes: Next among active players is 40-year-old Patrick Marleau with 561. He’s followed by Sidney Crosby (455), Ilya Kovalchuk (441) and Eric Staal (434). ... The Flyers all-time leader is Bill Barber (420). Claude Giroux (249) is their active leader.
»FROM THE ARCHIVES: Alex Ovechkin’s long road to the Stanley Cup
Of the top 10 scorers in league history, only Steve Yzerman has a better goals-per-game percentage in his career against the Flyers than Ovechkin.
Notes: In 13 postseason games against the Flyers, Ovechkin has seven goals (.54). The teams split two series (Flyers win in 2008, Caps win in 2016). ... Yzerman had three goals in four VERY forgettable postseason games against the Flyers in 1997. ... Esposito had 30 goals in 43 games against the Flyers while playing for Boston (.70). His dominance tailed off after he was traded to the Rangers on Nov. 7, 1975.
»From the archives: Ovechkin says Provorov will be an All-Star some day
Antero Niittymaki is one of nine Flyers goalies to allow a goal to Ovechkin, but he managed a bit of honor on Dec. 20, 2008 when he denied all 12 Ovechkin shots in a 7-1 Flyers win.
Here are the Flyers goalies whom Ovechkin has beaten for his 34 goals against the club:
Note: Ovechkin does not have a goal in three games against Carter Hart, who has stopped 11 shots on goal by the Capitals captain. The Flyers are 1-1-1 in those games. Ovechkin does not have a point against the Flyers in two games this season and is minus-2. Hart has stopped all six of his shots. Brian Elliott will start in net on Saturday.
Ovechkin is easily the most prolific shooter in hockey of this era, having attempted nearly 2,000 shots more than Eric Staal, who also came into the league in 2005. Ovechkin has cranked out 5,483 shots to Staal’s 3,667. In basketball, he’d be known as a gunner.
Here’s a look at the 10 most frequent shooters among players who started their careers in 1979-80 or later:
Some significant career milestones in sports and the number of players who’ve achieved them.