Alexander Ovechkin Has Career First After Capitals Get Swept

Alexander Ovechkin

Getty Alexander Ovechkin was held pointless in the first round.

Alexander Ovechkin, the captain of the Washington Capitals, had a career first following his team getting swept by the New York Rangers on April 28.

The Rangers defeated the Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in four games. In the four-game sweep, Ovechkin failed to record a point as he went pointless in the playoffs for the first time in his career and in a series, which spans 24 playoff series.

“I didn’t play well, it sucks… I try to find a way, but I don’t think we stuck in the offensive zone a lot… I don’t have that kind of touches. I try to find a different way to put the puck in, we just finished the game, so I have to think about it and see what happened,” Ovechkin told the media on April 29.

Capitals coach Spencer Carbery gave the Rangers credit for shutting down Ovechkin in the first-round series.

“The power play is such a big part of it, when it’s struggling and he’s not getting opportunities,” Carbery said, via ESPN. “They checked him so tightly over there that every time he gets the puck, he has a half second to make a play and there’s usually a stick and some shin pads on it. I think that played a major role for him in this series… That was a lot, the second half of the year. Especially the last two weeks where every game felt like life and death for our team. I felt like that took a lot out of him physically and mentally heading into the playoffs.”

Ovechkin scored 13 goals in his last 17 games of the season, to help the Capitals make the playoffs. However, in the series, Ovechkin had just five shots on goal but failed to record a shot on net in Game 1 or 4. He was also -2 in the series.

Rangers Take Credit in Shutting Down Ovechkin

Throughout their playoff series, the Rangers were able to shut Ovechkin down and not let him have many chances.

Following New York’s Game 4 win on April 28, forward Vincent Trochek said the Rangers had extra attention on Ovechkin to not let him score and beat them.

“He’s been doing it for so long. He’s arguably one of the best, if not the best, goal-scorers of all time and you have to pay a little bit more attention to him on the penalty kill. That can’t be easy for him. Obviously, we’re extremely focused on him, so it’s no shot at him. He’s a great hockey player, and we’re just a little bit extra focused on him,” Trochek said after Game 4 on April 29.

With the Rangers shutting down Ovechkin and the Capitals, New York will play the winner of the Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders in the second round.

Ovechkin Chasing Gretzky’s Goal Record

Ovechkin will enter the 2024-25 NHL season with the goal record in sight.

The Russian superstar has 853 career regular-season goals, which is just 41 back of Wayne Gretzky’s 894.

Ovechkin has scored 41 or more goals in 13 seasons, including scoring 42 just two seasons ago. However, Ovechkin has two years left on his contract, so the Russian will have at least two more seasons to score 42 goals and break Gretzky’s record that has stood since he reired following the 1998-99 NHL season.

Read More