Alex Ovechkin hasn’t scored the most goals here among the Flyers’ rivals. It only feels that way.

Ovechkin has 37 of his 714 career snipes against the Flyers. Twenty of them have been in Ed Snider’s house, payback perhaps from what his countrymen endured at the Spectrum in 1976.

Ovie’s not been in the same division as the Flyers for most of his career, but he’s done more damage in South Philly than a parking authority attendant. The Flyers will see him twice in the next three days. Keeping Ovechkin off the scoresheet will be critical to salvaging this brief homestand.

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— Ed Barkowitz (flyers@inquirer.com)

Ovechkin loves Philadelphia

Carter Hart’s season is going so poorly that even Alexander Ovechkin scored on him. (Rimshot. Here all week. Try the tofu burger.)

While that’s admittedly cheap sarcasm, the fact is the greatest goal scorer of at least this generation failed to score a goal on Hart in their first three meetings. Hart stopped everything Ovechkin had before Ovie fired in a power-play rocket in their first meeting this season on Feb. 7. The goal came after 11 misses at the 11:11 mark of period No. 1. Numerologists rejoiced.

Ovechkin has three goals in two games this season against Hart and the Flyers, which moved him into second place on an obscure, but laudable list, with his goal Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center. Only Wayne Gretzky (402) has scored more goals on the road than Ovechkin (363), and Ovechkin has done so more frequently (0.617) than Gretzky (0.542) on a per-game basis.

Among the most prolific scorers in games played in Philadelphia, only Mario Lemieux has tormented the Flyers at a more discouraging pace.

So with Ovechkin coming back to Philly for games tonight (probably against Brian Elliott) and Saturday (probably against Hart), we decided to take advantage of this beautiful spring day and dig a little deeper into some notable road stats.

Most goals scored, NHL history: Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717), Ovechkin (711).

Most goals scored on the road: Gretzky (402), Ovechkin (363), Steve Yzerman (362), Jagr (355), Brett Hull (353).

Most power-play goals on the road: Ovechkin (130), Hull (124), Dave Andreychuk (123), Esposito (118), Dionne (109).

Flyers leaders, goals on the road: Bill Barber (189), Brian Propp (179), Bobby Clarke (167), John LeClair (158), Tim Kerr (154).

Most goals, opponents, in Philadelphia: Mario Lemieux (24 in 32 games played), Jagr (21 in 52 GP), Ovechkin (20 in 29 GP), Sidney Crosby (20 in 35 GP), Esposito (30 in 38 GP). Also: Gretzky (13 in 27 GP).

Most goals per game in Philadelphia among top-5 opponents: Lemieux (0.706), Ovechkin (0.690), Crosby (0.571), Esposito (0.526), Jagr (0.404). Also: Gretzky (0.481).

The 10 Flyers goalies who’ve allowed Ovechkin’s 20 goals at the Wells Fargo Center (chronologically): Robert Esche (3), Antero Niittymaki (1), Martin Biron (2), Ray Emery (2), Sergei Bobrovsky (1), Ilya Bryzgalov (4), Steve Mason (4), Petr Mrázek (1), Elliott (1), Hart (1).

Things to know

Around the division

Top four qualify for playoffs

1. N.Y. Islanders (36 points, 26 games played): Will have 1,000 front-line workers in the stands tonight against New Jersey, the first game there all year in front of fans. Next Thursday’s game, they are allowed 10% of capacity (about 1,450) when the Flyers come to town.

2. Washington (34 points, 25 GP): Have won 6 of 7, including the first two of Tom Wilson’s seven-game suspension. Come to Philadelphia in a foul mood after coughing up a three-goal, third-period lead before beating New Jersey in overtime Tuesday.

3. Pittsburgh (31 points, 25 GP): Kasperi Kapanen had four goals in a five-game homestand the Penguins just completed. Kapanen’s seven goals in 22 games is more than half the 13 he had in 69 games last season. Skating alongside Evgeni Malkin has its benefits.

4. Boston (30 points, 23 GP): Jake DeBrusk, a 2015 first-round pick, has one goal in 17 games and was a healthy scratch Tuesday.

5. Flyers (29 points, 23 GP): Spending next week in New York. Monday and Wednesday against the Rangers (5-6-2 at home), March 18 and 20 at the Islanders (11-0-2 at home).

6. N.Y. Rangers (23 points, 24 GP): Artemi Panarin rejoined the Rangers for practice yesterday. Though he won’t play Thursday, he is trending toward playing against the Flyers either next Monday or Wednesday. Will be fascinating to see what kind of an impact he has on New York, which has gone 4-4 in his absence.

7. New Jersey (19 points, 22 GP): Nico Hischier is having the kind of year this season that Nolan Patrick had last year. Hischier is dealing with a sinus fracture after taking a puck to the face. His return is uncertain.

8. Buffalo (16 points, 24 GP): “We’re not at the point where we’re taking moral victories from being close in games right now,” said Sam Reinhart, after Buffalo’s losing skid reached 0-7-1. “That’s just the sad reality of it.”

Thursday/All at 7 p.m.

  • Washington at Flyers

  • New Jersey at N.Y. Islanders

  • N.Y. Rangers at Boston

  • Pittsburgh at Buffalo

Flyers’ next five

Thursday: Washington at Flyers, 7 p.m. (NBCSP)

Saturday: Washington at Flyers, 7 p.m. (NBCSP)

Monday: Flyers at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m. (NBCSP locally, NBCSN nationally)

Wednesday: Flyers at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m. (NBCSN exclusively)

Thursday, March 18: Flyers at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m. (NBCSP)

From the mailbag

“[Carter] Hart wasn’t helped much by his teammates. Their defensive coverage down low was again a problem.”

Try abysmal, horrible, pathetic and awful as proper adjectives. Even on TV, I could easily see the Sabres posting up like basketball players unimpeded in the slot and circle. Two of our guys covering one of theirs. The team as a whole has to trust each other on the five-man unit and has forgotten the crucial old adage: Take the man. Let the goalie worry about the puck.

Inquirer.com user pandkdimarco

***

As soon as the shootout goal was scored, I knew that the talking point would be, “will this get [Nolan] Patrick out of his slump?” It was inevitable. I hope it does, but if it doesn’t, you have to stick with him since there is no one behind him any better.

— Inquirer.com user badlove

Send questions or observations via Twitter to beat writers Ed Barkowitz (@EdBarkowitz) or Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull).