The Caps and Pens renewed their heated rivalry, as did the Preds and Avs, while the Flames had a date with the Ducks as they began a three-game California road trip.
It was a light night in the NHL with three games on the schedule, so here are three things we learned.
Ovechkin passes Dionne
With his 12th goal of the season, Alex Ovechkin didn’t merely tie David Pastrnak for the NHL lead. The Washington Capitals superstar also passed Marcel Dionne for sole possession of eighth place on the NHL’s all-time power-play goals list.
Ovechkin now has 235 goals with the man-advantage, which is one shy of Mario Lemieux for seventh place and two behind Brendan Shanahan for sixth.
Ovechkin, 33, would likely have to play well into his 40s without a huge massive drop-off in annual production in order to challenge Wayne Gretzky’s record of 894 career goals. Becoming the league’s all-time leader in PP markers, on the other hand, is a realistic target for The Great Eight.
The Russian averages approximately 19 power-play goals per 82 games played, so realistically Ovechkin should pass Dave Andreychuk’s record of 274 PP goals as early as next season.
Wednesday’s goal was a classic Ovechkin one-timer from his off-wing, assisted by Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson.
Sissons loves facing the Avalanche
Colton Sissons is not known for being a big-time point producer, but it seems whenever he plays the Colorado Avalanche there’s a bit of magic flowing through his hands. The Nashville Predators forward recorded his second career NHL hat trick on Wednesday, scoring twice in the first and capping his hatty off in the second. His second goal was a particularly nice shot.
Sissons now has four career multi-goal games and two of them have been against the Avs. In fact, Sissons is more productive against Colorado than he is against all other teams. In 10 career regular-season games against the Avs, Sissons now has eight goals and two assists.
He doesn’t only turn up the heat versus the Avs during the 82-game sked either. This past spring, during a first-round playoff series, Sissons had seven points as Nashville eliminated Colorado in six games.
Penguins on worst losing streak in three years
Pittsburgh lost a close one to Washington and, in doing so, extended their current losing streak to five games. It’s the team’s first such losing streak since they dropped five in a row in December of 2015.
The Pens are off to a disappointing 6-5-3 start to the season and, although it’s still very early, are currently on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture looking in.
Jim Rutherford’s patience is wearing thin. The Penguins GM told a Pittsburgh radio station prior to the game that if things don’t turn around, he’d start making changes in short order.
Would firing head coach Mike Sullivan be too drastic a change?
The three most successful NHL teams of the past decade have been the Penguins, Blackhawks and Kings, all of whom have won multiple Stanley Cups. In the past week, both the Kings and Blackhawks fired their coaches, so it’s something to think about.