Nick Wass/Associated Press
Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin became the first NHL player in 100 years to tally back-to-back hat tricks to open a season.
Ovechkin piled up three goals Thursday evening against the Ottawa Senators, and he didn’t waste any time adding to his statistical ledger Saturday when he found the back of the net three times in the first period versus the Montreal Canadiens.
In his last two periods of hockey, @ovi8 has six goals. We’re not making this up. #NHLFaceOff https://t.co/dHBRKkeaV5
The NHL’s public relations department provided context to illuminate just how rare Ovechkin’s achievement was:
NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL
Alex Ovechkin matched a 100-year-old benchmark with hat tricks in each of the @Capitals first two games of the 2017-18 season. #NHLStats https://t.co/U4W4tZCfxB
With six goals and counting, Ovechkin has already accumulated 18 percent of his total (33 goals) from last season.
That said, the 2016-17 campaign was something of a rare step back for the 11-time All-Star.
Although Ovechkin appeared in all 82 games for the Presidents’ Trophy winners, he recorded fewer than 50 goals in a season for the first time in a non-lockout campaign since 2011-12.
But after starting the season in scalding fashion, it won’t be a surprise if Ovechkin cracks the half-century mark once again as both he and the Capitals pursue postseason success that’s proved elusive during his tenure with the club.