Alex Ovechkin scored four goals in the Capitals’ 6-5 win over the Lightning on Tuesday night, giving him a league-leading 26 goals and putting him on pace to score a career-high 72 this season.
It also put him on target to reach another eye-popping milestone.
And he can do it tonight.
Ovechkin comes into the game against the Panthers needing a hat trick to reach the remarkable plateau of 50 goals in 50 games, dating back to March 19 of last season, when he scored against the Penguins. (He now has 48 in his last 50 since March 17.)
A hat trick is a tall order given that Ovechkin has never scored more than five goals in successive games, but he’s also never had much trouble against Florida, having scored 30 goals in 47 career games against the Panthers. And it doesn’t hurt his chances that Tim Thomas, Florida’s No. 1 stopper, is injured, forcing Scott Clemmensen (3.89 GAA, .857 save percentage) to step between the pipes.