4 things we learned in the NHL: Gretzky leapfrogged twice in one night

Alexander Ovechkin goes forehand to backhand to tie the game up at fours against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Golden Knights continued their record-breaking inaugural season by extending their current winning streak to eight, Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy registered his NHL-best sixth shutout of the season, Zach Parise and Ryan Ellis made their season debuts for the Wild and Preds, respectively, and Ryan Miller took it to his former team in Vancouver.

Here are four more things we learned Tuesday in the NHL.

Ovechkin had himself quite a night

The only thing more impressive than Alex Ovechkin’s career goal total might be the consistency at which he scores. The Capitals superstar moved ahead of Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov for the NHL goal lead in an overtime win against the Hurricanes, scoring his 25th and 26th goals of the season.

His 25th (you can watch at the top of the page) wasn’t anything spectacular but it tied the game at 4-4 midway through the third period. With that tally Ovechkin became just the fourth player in NHL history to score at least 25 goals in each of his first 13 seasons and he’s in fine company considering the other three players to do it. Jaromir Jagr scored at least 25 in 17 straight seasons before leaving for the KHL in 2008, Mike Gartner did it for 15 seasons and Wayne Gretzky for 13.

Then, Ovechkin fired home the OT winner by Cam Ward for his 26th.

It was the 22nd regular-season overtime goal of his career, an NHL record he already held, as well as his 100th overall game-winner. Only eight other players have at least 100 game-winners to their name (Jagr, Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito, Brett Hull, Teemu Selanne, Brendan Shanahan, Patrick Marleau, Jarome Iginla).

Not only that, it was his 584th career goal, which puts him sixth place in NHL history on the list of most goals scored with one franchise, passing the 583 Wayne Gretzky notched in an Oilers uniform.

Ovechkin scored 33 goals and finished with 69 points in 82 games last season—a down year by his lofty standards—but this year, at the exact halfway point of his season, he’s on pace for 52 goals and 86 points. If Ovechkin were to finish the season with exactly 52 goals, he’d pass Jari Kurri (601) and Dino Ciccarelli (608) to move into a tie with Bobby Hull for 17th place on the all-time list at 610 goals.

Kings’ Brown also leapfrogged the Great One

Scoring the seventh-most goals in L.A. Kings history likely isn’t among Wayne Gretzky’s favourite accomplishments…but if it was he might be slightly peeved. That’s because Dustin Brown scored a pair of goals against the Oilers to pass No. 99 for sole possession of seventh place in franchise history.

Gretzky scored 246 goals in the 539 regular-season games he played with the Kings, while Brown now has 247 goals in 1,004 career games with the club.

Panthers third-string goalie finally makes NHL debut

The Florida Panthers have leaned heavily on James Reimer ever since Roberto Luongo suffered a lower-body injury in early December. So when he left Tuesday’s game against the Wild in the second period, Panthers fans collectively held their breath. Reimer eventually returned to the crease and thinks he’ll be OK to start in the team’s next game, but his brief absence left an opening for Harri Sateri to make his NHL debut.

Sateri was selected by the Sharks in the fourth round (106th overall) back in 2008 but the 28-year-old never managed to crack an NHL roster. After being drafted and finishing up his career in the Finnish league, Sateri spent four years with the Worcester Sharks in the AHL before starting three seasons with the KHL’s Podolsk Vityaz. He signed a two-way contract with the Panthers this past July.

The Toijala, Finland native made 13 saves in 23:07 of playing time Tuesday.

Bobrovsky hits milestone

Sergei Bobrovsky is without question the best goalie in Blue Jackets history and he registered his 200th career victory Tuesday. The Russian stopped 21 of 22 shots in a 2-1 win over the Stars. Bobrovsky now ranks 20th among active NHL goalies, only two victories behind Steve Mason, who just happens to be the previous record holder in Columbus with 96 career wins when he was there.

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