MONTREAL – Alex Ovechkin knows Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s name, mainly from the six times he won the trophy named after the Montreal Canadiens’ great as the top NHL goal-scorer of the year.
The name came up again Monday night when the Washington star scored career goal 544, tying Richard’s total late in the Capitals’ 4-1 victory over the Canadiens.
“It’s nice to be in history, it’s nice to be tied with the legend,” Ovechkin said. “Still, I have lots of years to go and I’m going to try to do my best.”
Richard retired in 1960 as the league’s all-time goals leader and his total ranks only 29th now, but the 31-year-old Ovechkin looks like he has plenty of seasons left to add to his total. Next targets up are Michel Goulet at 548 and Ron Francis’ 549.
The Russian star also picked up two assists to leave him one short of 1,000 points in his career, which he can reach Wednesday at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“It means I’m getting older,” Ovechkin said. “I remember my first year, my first game, like it was five minutes ago.
“Time moves forward and time moves quick, so you just have to enjoy every second and every moment and, when you have an opportunity, try to do something special.”
Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Brett Connolly also scored for Washington while Braden Holtby finished with 22 saves. Holtby’s career-best shutout streak ended at 169 minutes 12 seconds when Tomas Plekanec scored at 7:18 of the third period.
Panthers 3, Devils 0: Roberto Luongo turned aside 28 shots for his 73rd career shutout as the Florida Panthers beat the New Jersey Devils 3-0 Monday night at Prudential Center.
Luongo missed the Panthers’ previous two games with an upper-body injury. The 37-year-old veteran hadn’t recorded a shutout since Jan. 22, 2016, a span of 50 starts.
Jets 2, Flames 0: Winnipeg channeled its inner Dale Hawerchuks and Teemu Selannes to post an impressive victory over Calgary.
Sporting their Heritage Classic jerseys, which pay tribute to the city’s hockey history in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the Jets got goals from two of their leaders, defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and right winger Blake Wheeler. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 28 shots to record his third shutout of the season and fifth of his career.
Stars 6, Kings 4: Patrick Sharp recorded a goal and two assists and Radek Faksa registered three assists as Dallas defeated Los Angeles.
Dallas received a goal and an assist from Tyler Seguin and Jiri Hudler to win the rubber game of the three-game season series. Antti Niemi saved only one Kings shot in 14:42 to win in relief of starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen.