2008 Stanley Cup Final17
In the end, No. 65 wasn’t that much different than
No. 33 or even No. 1. Other than the victimized goaltender,
there was nothing especially distinguishing about each ani-
mated goal celebration in the record-breaking season enjoyed
by Alexander Ovechkin, the young megastar who has revived
hockey in the U.S. capital with his infectious enthusiasm for
scoring goals. Since his debut, the energetic left wing has cel-
ebrated each tally as if it was his first in the League, though
he’s been here for three seasons.
“I like making nice plays and I just don't keep my emotions,”
Ovechkin said. “I just give my emotions.”
Those emotions are part of Ovechkin’s appeal, his package,
his game. An Ovechkin goal without the celebration would be
like ordering a steak that has no sizzle.
Ovechkin with his arms and stick raised is a sight hockey
fans have grown accustomed to seeing. In 2007-08, he was
downright automatic, scoring 65 goals, a mark that had not
been reached in the NHL since 1995-96 when Mario Lemieux
(69 goals) and Jaromir Jagr (65) were teammates in Pitts-
burgh, and Ovechkin was a 10-year-old in Moscow.
Shortly after Ovechkin scored his 50th goal, a reporter at-
tempted to draw a comparison between him and fellow Russ-
ian Pavel Bure, a former five-time 50-goal scorer who electri-
fied crowds in the ’90s.
“I saw video. He was one of the greatest Russian players in
history,” Ovechkin said, not taking the reporters bait. “…I just
want to be myself. You know, I think everybody have own
style. Bure is Bure. Me is me.”
Then came the inevitable questions about 60 goals — after
all, there were 13 games left — though Ovechkin never lost
sight of the bigger picture, the ultimate goal.
“You know, it’s all in my mind right now to help team win be-
cause we have situation we can push forward and we can go
“If I score goal and we win, I will be happy. But, you know,
right now it’s all about win. You know, it’s all about winning. If
I score 60 and we go to playoffs, I will be very happy.”
Perhaps the game in which Ovechkin celebrated the most,
he didn’t even score. On April 5, Washington clinched the
Southeast Division title and its first playoff berth since 2002-
03, meaning Ovechkin was about to get his first taste of post-
season hockey. The Capitals went from 6-14-1 and last overall
in the League on Nov. 23 to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern
Conference Quarterfinals with a 43-31-8 record.
The Amazing Season of a
60-Goal Scorer By Rocky Bonanno
NHL.com Staff Writer
2008 Stanley Cup Final18
October 6, 2007
CAROLINA 0 AT WASHINGTON 2
For the third straight home-opening game of his
career, Ovechkin scored a goal, beating goal-
tender John Grahame at 14:24 of the first period
for a 1-0 lead. It was his 200th point (99-101) in his
165th career game, becoming the quickest player
in franchise history to reach the mark.
October 12, 2007
WASHINGTON 1 AT NY RANGERS 3
Ovechkin scored his 100th goal in only 167 career
games. His power-play goal at 7:46 of the first pe-
riod briefly tied the score at 1-1, and he broke a tie
with Jagr for 31st place on the Capitals’ career
points list (202).
October 13, 2007
WASHINGTON 3 AT BUFFALO 7
Ovechkin scored a third-period power-play goal to
cut the Caps’ deficit to 5-3.
October 18, 2007
NY ISLANDERS 5 AT WASHINGTON 2
Ovechkin scored a goal for the third straight game
and extended his season-opening point streak to
six games (4-2-6).
October 24, 2007
TAMPA BAY 3 AT WASHINGTON 5
Ovechkin scored an empty-net goal with four sec-
onds remaining and added two assists. It was the
third empty-net goal of his career, but the first
scored while helping protect a one-goal lead. “The
key point is that when your top player can play that
well defensively and preserve a lead and you’re
playing him every second shift in the last 10 min-
utes and he’s out there six-on-five doing those
things, that’s what turns organizations around,”
then-coach Glen Hanlon told washingtoncapitals.com.
“When [Tampa Bay coach John] Tortorella got
Vinny [Lecavalier] to play both ends of the rink and
in Detroit when Stevie [Yzerman] played both ends
of the rink like he can do, that turned their organ-
October 26, 2007
VANCOUVER 3 AT WASHINGTON 2
Ovechkin scored a power-play goal with 1:36 left
in the third period.
October 29, 2007
WASHINGTON 7 AT TORONTO 1
Ovechkin scored an even-strength goal in the first
period and power-play goal in the second period.
November 2, 2007
PHILADELPHIA 3 AT WASHINGTON 2
Ovechkin scored for the eighth consecutive game
against the Flyers, netting a third-period power-
November 8, 2007
WASHINGTON 4 AT OTTAWA 1
Ovechkin scored a third-period goal to give the
Caps a three-goal lead.
November 10, 2007
TAMPA BAY 5 AT WASHINGTON 2
Ovechkin’s 50th career goal at the Verizon Center
tied the score at 1-1 with 1:40 left in the second
November 15, 2007
WASHINGTON 1 AT FLORIDA 2
Ovechkin scored on a rebound at 6:55 of the sec-
November 16, 2007
WASHINGTON 2 AT TAMPA BAY 5
Ovechkin gave the Caps a 2-1 lead when he
scored from the top of the right circle at 13:30 of
the first period, extending his goal-scoring streak
to four games.
November 21, 2007
ATLANTA 5 AT WASHINGTON 1
Ovechkin gave the Caps a 1-0 lead with a power-
play goal 2:27 into the second period.
November 24, 2007
CAROLINA 2 AT WASHINGTON 5
Ovechkin scored for the first time under new
coach Bruce Boudreau, who replaced Hanlon two
days earlier. “When you win, you feel more confi-
dent,” Ovechkin said.
November 26, 2007
BUFFALO 3 AT WASHINGTON 1
Ovechkin tied the score 49 seconds into the sec-
ond period to extend his point streak to nine
games (8-3-11), his longest since a career-best
13-game streak last season.
November 30, 2007
WASHINGTON 3 AT CAROLINA 4
Ovechkin scored two goals and added an assist.
He now has 15 goals in 20 career games against
December 1, 2007
WASHINGTON 2 AT FLORIDA 1
Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal at 4:38
of the third period. While standing parallel to the
Florida goal, he shot the puck toward goaltender
Tomas Vokoun and it deflected into the net. “It was
a lucky goal,” Ovechkin said. “I was trying to shoot
the puck to create a rebound for (Viktor) Kozlov,
but it was a lucky rebound and went into the net.”
December 8, 2007
ATLANTA 3 AT WASHINGTON 6
Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal at 14:06
of the second period, giving the Caps a 4-1 lead.
His goal against Kari Lehtonen was the 12th of his
career, the most against any goaltender.
December 12, 2007
NY RANGERS 4 AT WASHINGTON 5, OT
Ovechkin gave the Caps a 3-2 lead at 4:36 of the
December 14, 2007
BUFFALO 5 AT WASHINGTON 3
Ovechkin opened the scoring with a power-play
goal at 13:12 of the first period, giving him points
in 16 of his last 17 games.
December 17, 2007
WASHINGTON 3 AT DETROIT 4, SO
Ovechkin netted a power-play goal at 9:58 of the
first period. Dominik Hasek became the 45th goal-
tender to surrender a goal to Ovechkin, and Joe
Louis Arena was the 20th arena in which he
December 22, 2007
WASHINGTON 2 AT NY ISLANDERS 3, OT
Ovechkin tied the score at 2-2 with 55 seconds
remaining in the third period. “It could have been
deflating when they got their second goal,”
Boudreau said. “But we never quit, and Ovie came
through, even though he was bottled up all night,
and only wound up with two shots on net.”
December 27, 2007
WASHINGTON 3 AT PITTSBURGH 4, OT
Ovechkin gave the Caps a 3-2 lead late in the sec-
ond period before missing almost all of the third to
receive stitches to close a cut on his leg.
A LOOK BACK AT GOALS 1-65
2008 Stanley Cup Final19
December 29, 2007
WASHINGTON 8 AT OTTAWA 6
Ovechkin recorded his third career hat trick and
first four-goal game, also adding an assist for his
first career five-point game. He scored once in the
first period, once in the second and twice in the
third, all against goaltender Martin Gerber. It was
Ovechkin’s first hat trick since Dec. 15, 2006.
January 5, 2008
WASHINGTON 5 AT MONTREAL 4, OT
Ovechkin’s second goal gave the Caps a 4-3 lead
at 6:38 of the third period. His first was a power-
play tally at 8:31 of the second. “He gets the puck
off quick,” said Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.
“I don’t think there was much I could do on the
The Bell Centre was the 21st different arena in
which Ovechkin scored.
January 13, 2008
PHILADELPHIA 6 AT WASHINGTON 4
Ovechkin scored for the first time since signing a
landmark 13-year, $124 million contract three days
earlier, keeping him in Washington’s services
through the 2020-21 season.
“Alex is the cornerstone of our franchise, and I fully
believe that he will help us achieve our ultimate
goal of being a Stanley Cup team,” said owner Ted
Leonsis. “Like all Caps fans, I look forward to com-
ing to Verizon Center or turning on the TV each
night and seeing what he will do next, and I am
sure we will continue to be amazed at what we see
for years to come.”
January 15, 2008
OTTAWA 2 AT WASHINGTON 4
Ovechkin scored the tie-breaking goal on the
power play at 9:11 of the third period, burying the
rebound of a shot by Brooks Laich. It was his fifth
game-winning goal of the season and 18th of his
“They’re leading our conference, so this is very im-
portant to win,” Ovechkin said. “But for us, it does-
n’t matter who we play. We have to win. Two
points is two points, whether it’s against Ottawa
or anyone. We want to go up (in the standings).”
January 17, 2008
EDMONTON 4 AT WASHINGTON 5, SO
Ovechkin, Semin and Mike Green all scored in the
third straight game. Ovechkin’s goal at 1:39 of the
second period tied the score and erased a 2-0
deficit for the Caps.
January 19, 2008
FLORIDA 3 AT WASHINGTON 5
Ovechkin scored a goal and an assist, helping the
Caps claim third place in the Southeast Division.
“It’s just the beginning for us. We deserve to be in
this spot,” Ovechkin said. “We had a terrible start
of the season; we lose every game.”
After going 6-14-1 under Glen Hanlon, Washing-
ton improved to 21-21-4 under the direction of
January 21, 2008
Ovechkin scored twice in the second period —
once on the power play — and added a tally in the
shootout. Also scoring twice was countryman
Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins, chosen second-
overall after Ovechkin in the 2004 Entry Draft.
“I thought it was a great show of two young su-
perstars trying to be king of the hill,” Boudreau
“I just play for the team. It doesn’t matter if you’re
Russian or Canadian,” Ovechkin said. “It’s a game,
and I think nobody has friends on the ice.”
January 23, 2008
WASHINGTON 2 AT TORONTO 3
Ovechkin extended his season-high goal streak to
six games, during which he scored seven goals.
Ovechkin tied the score 1-1 at 2:27 of the second
period when he beat goaltender Vesa Toskala with
a wrist shot.
January 27, 2008
56TH NHL ALL-STAR GAME
In his second All-Star Game appearance,
Ovechkin scored twice in the first period to in-
crease his career total to three goals in the mid-
season classic. He beat goaltender Chris Osgood
both times in the Eastern Conference’s 8-7 victory
at Philips Arena in Atlanta, and became the first
Washington Capital to score twice in an All-Star
January 31, 2008
MONTREAL 4 AT WASHINGTON 5, OT
Ovechkin recorded his second four-goal, five-point
game of the season. He scored the winning goal
with 1:26 left in overtime against goaltender
Cristobal Huet, who in less than a month would
become his teammate. Ovechkin completed his
fourth career hat trick — and first at Verizon Center
— with 7:30 remaining in regulation.
The outburst gave Ovechkin 70 points (43-27),
and he took the NHL scoring lead for the first time
in his career. In addition, he became the first
NHLer since Jaromir Jagr in 1996-97 to score 40
or more goals before the end of January.
Ovechkin joined Peter Bondra as the only Capitals
with three consecutive 40-goal seasons.
February 5, 2008
WASHINGTON 4 AT COLUMBUS 3, OT
Ovechkin’s second goal was the winner in over-
time, completing a comeback from a two-goal
deficit. “It doesn’t matter what the score is — 2-0,
4-0 — you’ve just got to play,” Ovechkin said. “We
just have to believe in ourselves. We know we can
win the game. It doesn’t matter what happens.
This was a big game for the young guys. We’re
just growing up.”
“I thought he struggled more than I’ve seen him in
the first period,” Boudreau said. “He looked tired.
I asked him if he was OK and he said he was. He
started coming on, getting stronger as the game
went on. His shot is just so deadly, that wrist shot
of his. I’ve been here 32 games now and it amazes
me every day.”
“I thought we did a good job on him and he still
got two goals,” Columbus defenseman Rostislav
Klesla said. “He’s just a special player, having a
February 6, 2008
WASHINGTON 4 AT PHILADELPHIA 3
Ovechkin scored the game-winner at 7:45 of the
third period for a 4-1 lead. The victory gave the
Capitals a share of first place in the Southeast
Division. Ovechkin now has 12 goals and nine as-
sists in 12 career games against Philadelphia.
February 10, 2008
NY RANGERS 2 AT WASHINGTON 3, OT
Ovechkin scored on the power play only 2:28 into
the game and added two assists, and the Capitals
moved into first place in the Southeast Division.
He also regained sole possession of the NHL scor-
ing lead with 76 points (47-29).
Ovechkin extended his League-leading total to 17
power-play goals, giving him 23 goals and 36
points in 22 games.
February 13, 2008
WASHINGTON 2 AT ATLANTA 3, SO
Ovechkin’s goal with 1:21 remaining in the third
period forced overtime.
A LOOK BACK AT GOALS 1-65
2008 Stanley Cup Final20
March 1, 2008
TORONTO 3 AT WASHINGTON 2
Ovechkin snapped a career-long seven-game goal
drought by scoring late in the first period for a 1-0
March 3, 2008
BOSTON 2 AT WASHINGTON 10
Ovechkin scored his fifth career hat trick to reach
50 goals for the second time in his career and
matched his rookie high from 2005-06. Ovechkin
scored all three goals in the first period and added
two assists for his third five-point game of the sea-
“Today, everything just went to the net,” Ovechkin
said. “You are going to score [in] lots of games,
and some you [won’t]. I always tell myself not to
think about goals and to just play how I can.”
Ovechkin became the third player in franchise his-
tory, along with Dennis Maruk and Peter Bondra,
to record two 50-goal seasons. He also joined
Bure, Dany Heatley and Jagr as the only players to
record two 50-goal campaigns in the decade.
Finally, Ovechkin became the second player in
NHL history to score his 50th goal of a season as
part of a hat trick, matching Wayne Gretzky.
March 5, 2008
WASHINGTON 3 AT BUFFALO 1
Ovechkin scored his career-high 53rd goal and
recorded his 10th multi-goal game of the season.
“Mental mistakes have cost us goals,” Sabres for-
ward Derek Roy said. “We gave up four or five
breakaways. ... We preached before the game to
look over our shoulder and see where Ovechkin
is. And we didn’t do so.”
Ovechkin’s 54 goals moved him into second on
the Capitals’ single-season list, one more than
Bob Carpenter (1984-85).
March 12, 2008
CALGARY 2 AT WASHINGTON 3
Ovechkin scored his 10th game-winning goal,
beating goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff on the power
play with 1:54 remaining in the third period.
The game was broadcast on two channels in the
Washington area. One carried the regular game
broadcast, and the other featured a split screen
with the game coverage on one side and a dedi-
cated camera continuously following Ovechkin on
the other, called OvechKam.
“I don’t think about OvechKam,” Ovechkin said.
“For me it doesn’t matter, OvechKam or different
camera.” Kiprusoff became the 52nd goaltender
to surrender a goal to Ovechkin during the season,
and Calgary the 27th team against which he has
March 14, 2008
ATLANTA 1 AT WASHINGTON 4
Ovechkin scored his 155th career goal, giving him
the third-highest total ever by a player in his first
three seasons in the NHL, passing Bure (154) for
third place. Only Hall of Famers Gretzky (198) and
Mike Bossy (173) were better.
“Yeah, it’s an interesting time right now,” Ovechkin
said. “Everybody is concentrating about the game
and we still have 10 games left.”
March 18, 2008
WASHINGTON 4 AT NASHVILLE 2
Ovechkin’s goal and two assists gave him his sec-
ond career 100-point season. He reached the
mark with an assist on Alexander Semin’s first-pe-
riod power-play goal and finished the game with
102 points (58-44). Ovechkin who scored 106
points as a rookie in 2005-06, became the first
player in franchise history to record two 100-point
Ovechkin’s goal was an empty-netter and the
300th point of his career in only 237 games. He
became the fastest NHLer to reach the mark since
Peter Forsberg got there in 229 games on Dec.
“The most important thing for me is not beating
some records,” Ovechkin said. “Right now it is all
about winning games and all about getting two
March 21, 2008
WASHINGTON 5 AT ATLANTA 3
Ovechkin became the NHL’s first 60-goal scorer in
12 years. He beat Lehtonen in the first period and
later brought the Capitals within 3-2 at 11:30 of
the third period with his 60th.
“It’s always fun to score goals,” Ovechkin said,
“especially when it’s important goals. It was a very
important goal for my team right now. It doesn’t
matter if I don’t score and somebody [else] score.
I’ll be happy, too. But 60 is 60.”
Ovechkin’s 60th goal tied Washington’s single-
season team record set by Dennis Maruk in 1981-
82. Also, the Capitals became the fifth franchise in
League history with two 60-goal scorers, joining
Edmonton, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Pitts-
Ovechkin also passed Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk for
the most third-period goals with 23.
March 25, 2008
WASHINGTON 3 AT CAROLINA 2, SO
Ovechkin scored his single-season franchise-
record 61st goal, giving the Capitals a 2-1 lead at
9:41 of the second period.
“It’s fun to score goals, especially when you break
some records,” Ovechkin said. “Records are
records, but it’s still about winning, it’s still about
team and it was a big victory for us, a big goal for
March 29, 2008
WASHINGTON 3 AT FLORIDA 0
Ovechkin scored his League-leading 62nd goal at
11:32 of the third period when he beat three
Florida players to a loose puck and fired a wrist
shot from close range. His 14 goals in the month
of March (14 games) marked the best single-
month goal total of his young career.
April 1, 2008
CAROLINA 1 AT WASHINGTON 4
Ovechkin’s goal late in the third period helped tie
Carolina for the lead in the Southeast Division with
two games remaining in the season.
“All the guys played well today,” Ovechkin said.
“We’re playing for something right now.”
Most of the 18,277 Capitals fans in attendance at
Verizon Center conducted a red-out, wearing red
clothing to match their heroes on the ice. They
gave the players a standing ovation with a 2-0 lead
after the first period.
April 3, 2008
TAMPA BAY 1 AT WASHINGTON 4
Ovechkin broke Luc Robitaille’s single-season
NHL record for most goals by a left wing with his
first tally, and added another for good measure.
The 18,277 fans in attendance repeatedly chanted
“M-V-P,” voicing their votes for Ovechkin to be
awarded the Hart Trophy.
The victory moved the Capitals into a playoff spot,
taking the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference
with one game remaining.
Ovechkin’s first goal, at 12:01 of the first period
with assists from Kozlov and Green, tied the score
at 1-1. He then netted the game-winner, his 11th
of the season, on the power play at 7:50 of the
third period. With 22 power-play goals, Ovechkin
tied Bondra’s single-season team record.
“He really turns it up when the game’s on the line,”
Washington center Brooks Laich said.
A LOOK BACK AT GOALS 1-65
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