It’s been a crazy season in the NHL, filled with personal and franchise marks by a number of individuals from across the league. Career goal marks. Franchise milestones in points. There are all kinds of statistical takeaways from the 2018-19 season.
Over the next little while, we’ll look back at some of the biggest moments from the past seven months – how they’ve impacted the individuals’ careers and the game itself. With that said, here’s a mark that involves two of the best in the NHL today.
Ovechkin, Crosby and 1,200 Points
Arguably the best player in today’s game and the top goal scorer right now, Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby both reached the same milestone in their respective careers – the 1,200 point plateau.
For Crosby, the 31-year-old tallied 100 points in 79 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the regular season to finish at 1,216 career points in 943 career games.
While his counterpart, Ovechkin, finished with 89 points in 81 games to give him 1,211 career points in 1,084 career games.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how these two prolific players reached this particular milestone.
Penguins’ Crosby Icing Competition
To start the year, Crosby sat fourth among active players on the all-time points list with 1,116 points. Ahead of him were Ovechkin (who had 1,122), Patrick Marleau (1,129) and Joe Thornton (1,427). While Crosby would eventually pass Ovechkin and Marleau by season’s end, the real feat we’re discussing is his journey to 1,200 career points.
It took him 63 games of the 2018-19 season to tally his 84th point of the campaign. That’s what he needed to reach the 1,200-point plateau. It was a Tuesday night – March 5 – with the Penguins hosting the Florida Panthers.
With the Penguins down 1-0 following the first period, it was the Pens turn to fill the net and Crosby played a part in that. Making a pass across the offensive zone, Jake Guentzel picked up the puck and fired a goal past Roberto Luongo. Crosby was awarded the secondary assist and, in turn, his 1,200th point. That was just 16 seconds into the second period, before Crosby followed that up with a goal of his own at the 10 minute mark.
For good measure, Crosby added an assist on Guentzel’s overtime goal to give the Penguins a 3-2 win in a milestone game for their captain.
En route to finishing the season with 1,216 points, Crosby passed a number of former players and two active players (Ovechkin and Marleau). Those players included Darryl Sittler (1,121), Joe Nieuwendyk (1,126), Mike Bossy (1,126), Bernie Federko (1,130) Marian Hossa (1,134), Nicklas Lidstrom (1,142), Michel Goulet (1,153), Daniel Alfredsson (1,157), Bobby Hull (1,170), Sergei Fedorov (1,179), Rod Brind’Amour (1,184) Dino Ciccarelli (1,200), Vincent Damphousse (1,205), Bernie Nicholls (1,209) and Bobby Clarke (1,210).
The 16 points following the milestone were good enough to leave Crosby 43rd overall in all-time points, tied with Jeremy Roenick and one behind Larry Murphy.
Ovechkin’s Career Totals, Capital Punishment for Opponents
Fittingly, Ovechkin’s milestone evening came against Crosby and his Penguins on March 12 in Pittsburgh. With the home team up 4-2 in the third period and the Capitals on a power play, Ovechkin fired a slap shot from the point. Matt Murray made the original save before John Carlson fired home the rebound at the side of the net.
Ovechkin was awarded the primary assist and his 1,200th career point. While the Penguins would go on to win the game 5-3, the Capitals captain was congratulated for his accomplishment by his rival Crosby following the game.
For Ovechkin, it was game number 70 of the season in which he was able to tally the milestone and the 1,072nd of his regular season career.
Like Crosby, Ovechkin passed a number of players en route to finishing the season with 1,211 career points – including Marleau as the only active player on that list. The others included Joe Nieuwendyk (1,126), Mike Bossy (1,126), Bernie Federko (1,130) Marian Hossa (1,134), Nicklas Lidstrom (1,142), Michel Goulet (1,153), Daniel Alfredsson (1,157), Bobby Hull (1,170), Sergei Fedorov (1,179), Rod Brind’Amour (1,184) Dino Ciccarelli (1,200), Vincent Damphousse (1,205), Bernie Nicholls (1,209) and Bobby Clarke (1,210).
While he’s still chasing Crosby, Ovechkin sits five behind him and Roenick for 43rd all-time and just six back of Murphy.
Both legendary players, it took Crosby just 927 games to reach the 1,200-point plateau while it took Ovechkin 1,073 regular season games. That’s a difference of 146 games. However, with Crosby not liking to make it about him versus Ovechkin, the feat is an incredible one for both of these future Hall-of-Fame players who are far from finished when it comes to leaving their mark.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.