Alexander Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season in the first period of Sunday's game against St. Louis. It was very significant goal. It marked the 10th time in his first 10 seasons in which Ovechkin has reached the 30 goal plateau. He is only the fifth player in NHL history to do so.
Ovechkin is now in select company. The only other four players to accomplish this are Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Jari Kurri and Mike Gartner. For a player like Ovechkin who plays a more physical style than the others, it is testament to not only his scoring ability but his health.
He now leads the league with 31 goals. Should he close out the season as the goals leader, it would mark the fifth time he would win the Rocket Richard Trophy. Putting him in even more select company. Only four other players have won the goal scoring title five times or more. Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito and Bobby Hull.
It remains to be seen as to where Ovechkin will rank among the all time great goal scorers. This much is certain, with each goal he scores more milestones will be reached.
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Sunday they have waived former Sharks and Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov has 353 wins in 697 games, good 2nd among active goaltenders.
This season he was signed to a one year contract by the Lightning and is just 3-6-2 with a 3.14 goals against average and .882 save percentage. 20 year old Andrei Vasilevsky has been recalled and will assume the back up role. He is 3-1-0 with a 1.76 goals against average and a .937 save percentage.
The move leaves you wonder if Nabokov has played his last NHL game. At 39 years old, he may not get another chance.
Montreal goalie Carey Price had quite a week. He went 3-0-0 with a 0.66 goals against average, a .980 save percentage and two shutouts. He started with a 40 save performance in a 4-2 win over Dallas. Price followed that up with a pair of 1-0 shutouts against the Rangers and Capitals.
He made 24 saves against New York and 36 versus Washington in the teams overtime win. On the Season Price is now for second with 27 wins, his .933 save percentage is also good for second while his 2.03 goals against average ranks him 3rd.
It appears Devan Dubnyk has adjusted to life in Minnesota. The newly acquired net minder also went 3-0-0 this past week with a 1.00 goals against, a .967 save percentage and one shutout.
He made 23 saves in a 2-1 win over his most recent team, the Edmonton Oilers. Dubnyk followed that up with a 30 save, 1-0 shutout over Calgary. Finally, he defeated Vancouver making 35 saves in a 4-2 win.
League Leaders through 2-1-15
Goals – Ovechkin (31)
Assists – Voracek – (41)
Points – Voracek (58)
Plus/Minus – Kucherov (+28)
Wins – Rinne (29)
Bill Minchin is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow Bill on twitter @wtfd103074