Alex Ovechkin Named NHL’s First Star of the Month
ARLINGTON, Va. – Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been named the NHL’s First Star for the month of December, the NHL announced today.
Ovechkin had 22 points (13g, 9a) in 15 games to lead the Capitals and tied for second in the NHL. Ovechkin scored a point in 11 of Washington’s 15 games as the Capitals finished the month with an 11-2-2 record and the second-most points (24 points) in the league.
Ovechkin had four multi-goal games in December which led all players, including two hat tricks. Ovechkin scored twice on Dec. 23 against the Winnipeg Jets to tie the game and pass Gordie Howe (801) for second on the NHL’s all-time goals list. Ten days prior, Ovechkin recorded his 29th career hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks to become the third player in NHL history to reach 800 goals, joining Howe and Wayne Gretzky. With his three-goal performance against Chicago, Ovechkin also passed Marcel Dionne and Bobby Hull (28) for the sixth-most hat-tricks in NHL history. Ovechkin added to his career hat-trick tally on Dec. 31 when he finished the month with his 30th hat-trick against the Montreal Canadiens at home.
Ovechkin’s 13 goals in December are tied for second most goals he has scored in a single calendar month and is the sixth time in his career that he has scored 13 or more goals in a month (April 2013 : 14 goals in 13 GP; Oct. 2009: 14g in 13 GP; March 2008: 14g in 14 GP; Jan. 2020: 13g, in 10 GP; Jan. 2008: 13g in 13 GP).
Along with scoring his 800th career goal and continuing his climb up the NHL’s all-time goals list, Ovechkin also passed Ray Bourque (6,209) for the most shots in history. of the NHL (December 22 at Ottawa), passed Sergei Gonchar (1,301) for the second most games played by a Russian-born player in NHL history (December 7 at Philadelphia) and played his 1,300th career game (December 3 at Calgary).
This is the 10th time in Ovechkin’s career that he has won First Star/Player of the Month honors. Ovechkin recently won the honor for the month of October 2021. Ovechkin was named the first Star of the Week twice in December (for the week ending December 18 and the week ending December 25), the 20th and 21st time he was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week.
This season, Ovechkin has recorded 45 points (26g, 19a) in 39 games. Ovechkin, 37, is tied for third in the NHL in goals and eighth in points. Ovechkin is close to scoring 54 goals this season. If Ovechkin reached the 50-goal mark, it would mark his 10th career 50-goal season, passing Gretzky and Mike Bossy (9) for the most in NHL history. Additionally, Ovechkin would pass Gretzky (12) for the most 40-goal seasons in NHL history and tie Mike Gartner (17) for the most 30-goal seasons in NHL history. .