The Washington Capitals desperately needed a win on Tuesday evening not just to stop their bleeding from a six-game winless streak but to also keep their 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs hopes alive. Fortunately for them, the Great Eight stepped up and delivered for them, with Alex Ovechkin giving the Caps a lead-extending goal in the second period off of an assist from fellow veteran TJ Oshie in a 2-1 victory in Motor City.

And with that goal, Ovechkin set a new NHL record for most seasons with at least 30 goals. The Capitals superstar now has 18 such seasons in the league, breaking the record of another Washington legend in Mike Gartner, who played 10 seasons for the Caps and had 17 total seasons in the league with no fewer than 30 goals, as pointed out by Nicholas J. Cotsonika of

“He finds a way to score,” Ovechkin's teammate and former No. 3 overall pick Dyland Strome said after the win over the Red Wings at Little Ceasars Arena. “He has a great shot. He had a 2-on-1, and the goalie was maybe playing a little pass. When he sees a spot in the net, he’s going to put it home. Nice milestone, and yeah, I mean, we obviously needed the goal. It helps a lot,” added Strome, who also scored the first goal of the contest.

The 38-year-old scoring machine is proving that his slow start to the 2023-24 NHL regular season was not really an indication that his legendary offensive abilities are on a sharp decline. While he only found the back of the net just eight times over his first 43 games of the season for the Capitals, he's now scored 22 goals in his last 32 games to reach yet another 30-goal NHL year.

So far in the month of April, the future Hall of Famer has three goals and an assist in five games, including the meeting with the Carolina Hurricanes on the road last Friday in which Ovechkin lit the lamp twice, albeit in a 4-2 loss.

Of course, each goal that Ovechkin scores puts him closer and closer to reaching the summit of Mt. Wayne Gretzky. At the time of this writing, Ovi has 852 goals in his career in the NHL. He is only 42 goals behind Gretzky, who finished his incredible career with 894 goals.

“I don’t know. I just play my game. Try to use chances, try to find rebounds, try to create chances for my linemates. Right now we all know how important it is to get points and stay in the battle. It’s [a] fun time of the year,” Ovechkin said when asked after the Detroit game about his scorching form of late.

Alex Ovechkin, Capitals inch closer to securing NHL Playoffs spot

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) shoots the puck against the Ottawa Senators in the third period at Capital One Arena.
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After losing six games in a row, the Capitals' win against the Red Wings helped them move to the wild-card picture in the Eastern Conference. The other wild-card spot has already been secured by the Tampa Bay Lightning, leaving the Caps and the rest of the hopefuls with just one more ticket to compete for in the conference. The Capitals currently have 85 points, one ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Red Wings and two in front of the Philadelphia Flyers.

With Washington in control of their playoff fate, the Capitals will look to keep their position when they take on the Buffalo Sabres on the road this Thursday. After that, they will face the Lightning and the Boston Bruins at home on Saturday and Monday then finish their regular-season schedule with a road game against the Flyers on April 16.