Race for the Rocket: Ovechkin first to 50

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Alex Ovechkin: 50 goals, one game remaining

Sidney Crosby: 49 goals, two games remaining

Steven Stamkos: 48 goals, two games remaining

Clearly Alex Ovechkin got a bit intimidated when Sidney Crosby did, then later didn’t, score his 50th goal of the season last night. Entering tonight’s game against the Thrashers, Ovechkin was sitting tied for second in goals with Steven Stamkos with 48.

As could be expected in front of the home crowd in Washington, the Great Eight wasn’t about to slow down as he scored two goals on the night to up his season total to 50.

Number 49

Number 50

Washington has one more game for Ovechkin to add to his goal total on Sunday against the ever-stingy and potentially playoff-desperate Boston Bruins. Coincidentally enough, Crosby will get his chance to score goal 50 against the same Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday and can pile on against the Islanders on Sunday. Meanwhile, Steven Stamkos will try to keep pace with the league mega-super-duper stars in a weekend set of games against Florida.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal

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Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: