It was a frenzied first week of goal scoring as the puck dropped on the 2017-18 NHL season, but one pair of hat tricks stood out among them all.
Alex Ovechkin (7-0–7) led the league in goals and tied for the points lead with Washington Capitals teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov while netting his 18th and 19th career hat tricks to help propel the Capitals to wins in both their season and home openers.
It all started on the road as the Caps played spoiler to the Ottawa Senators' home opener at Canadian Tire Centre Thursday night in a 5-4 shootout win. With his team down 3-1 just over two minutes into the final frame of regulation, No. 8 exploded with three goals in 6:33 to help Washington force overtime before finding twine in the fourth round of the shootout as well.
Saturday, it was on to the first game of 2017-18 on Capital One Arena ice where Ovechkin opened the season's scoring in front of a home crowd. Once again, Ovechkin only needed one period to notch three goals and secured his 19th hat trick in the first period before scoring his fourth goal of the night in the middle frame en route to a 6-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
With his seven goals on the week, including number 565, Ovechkin leapfrogged four Hockey Hall of Famers – Guy Lafleur (560), Mike Modano (564), Mats Sundin (564), and Joe Nieuwendyk (564) – into 22nd on the all-time list of NHL regular-season goal scorers.
What did the six-time Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner attribute his quick start to?
"My wife, her sister is here, and every time she's in town I score a hat trick," Ovechkin told NHL.com post-game. "So back-to-back and she's leaving Monday. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to talk to someone to keep her here to go to Tampa maybe. But it's a fun time when you play like that and your line is feeling it."
Ovechkin has tied Peter Bondra for the Capitals franchise record for hat tricks (19).— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) October 8, 2017
Not only was the feat enough for Ovechkin to tie a franchise record, but by scoring 19 hat tricks in back-to-back fashion, he pulled off something nobody else in the league had been able to do for 100 years.
Players with back-to-back Hat Tricks in first 2 games of season— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) October 8, 2017
Cy Denneny (1917)
Joe Malone (1917)
Reg Noble (1917)
Alex Ovechkin (2017)
Complete listing of the 2017-18 NHLPA.com Players of the Week here.