When a team calls off the goalkeeper at the end of a game in the hope of tying the game, in most cases it doesn’t mean that the team will tie the game with aplomb. But rather, the other team seals the match in their favor. For those who would argue that this is an easy matter for their teams’ cannoneers, the opposite is true. Only 10 players in the history of the NHL have scored at least 30 such “notches”, Alexander Ovechkin on the top of the ranking.
The new king is Alexander Ovechkin
Washington, in their last game, won a rather surprising victory on the ice of the NHL’s best team, the Boston Bruins. With the score at 2:0, the home team called off goalie Jeremy Swayman in vain and it was Russian goalie Alexander Ovechkin who sealed the game.
It was Ovechkin’s 57th empty-net goal. The Russian star thus surpassed the legendary Wayne Gretzky, who was the previous record holder with 56 shots into the opponent’s open cage. Ovechkin achieved this feat in his 1395th regular season game.
Ovechkin is also not giving up hope of breaking the record for most goals scored. The Great One still holds the record, with 894 goals.
The Russian goal scorer is now at 835 goals, still 59 shots behind. Before the season, that record would have seemed easily attainable within two seasons. However, the current season shows how he is still terribly far away at the same time.
How are the other players doing?
The top two positions are occupied by the two best scorers in the NHL’s long history. In third position is Slovak hockey legend Marian Hossa, who managed to score 40 goals in this situation. Behind him is another active hockey player with 34 hits, namely Boston captain Brad Marchand.
Eric Staal and Mario Lemieux, another world hockey great, scored one goal less. Only Marchand and Lemieux needed less than a thousand games to score at least 30 goals into an empty cage.
In seventh place we find another active player. This time it is another Penguins legend, Sidney Crosby, who managed to score 32 times in such a situation. Jerome Iginla has also scored on as many occasions.
The last two positions are occupied by two other active hockey players. Blake Wheeler is ninth with 31 hits and Zach Parise is tenth with 30 hits.
Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes) is probably the biggest specialist in this case. The Finnish forward has scored 28 times without a goaltender and has the fewest number of games (568).
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