Barry Trotz knows firsthand Alex Ovechkin’s ability to make history. The Islanders coach just would have preferred to see his former player choose another game to do it again.
Instead, Ovechkin’s 26th career hat trick — and second in two games — gave him 692 career goals, tying him with Steve Yzerman for ninth place on the NHL’s all-time list after he started the day one goal behind Mario Lemieux for 10th. Ovechkin scored twice in the Capitals’ five-goal third period in Saturday afternoon’s 6-4 win at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
“Great players out there,” said Ovechkin, who trails Mark Messier by only two goals for eighth place. “It’s something special. History.”
Trotz coached Ovechkin and the Capitals from 2014-18, culminating with Ovechkin becoming the first Russian-born player to captain a Stanley Cup winner in 2018.
“Ovi almost plays like a wrecking ball that has the [Mike] Bossy hands in terms of the goal-scoring,” Trotz said. “You see history when you coach him or when you’re playing against him. He’s the greatest goal-scorer at a time where goals are not easy to come by; the goaltenders are better.”
Ovechkin has 39 goals and 19 assists in 57 career games against the Islanders.
Notes & quotes: The Islanders managed only two shots on a five-on-three power play that lasted 1 minute, 37 seconds in the first period . . . Anthony Beauvillier had two assists, giving him a career-high 16 this season . . . Brock Nelson scored his 19th goal . . . The Islanders killed off all four Capitals power plays. limiting the Capitals to six shots . . . Defenseman Devon Toews had a goal and two assists for a career-high three points . . . Anders Lee played in his 247th straight game, passing John Tavares for the fifth-longest ironman streak in team history . . . The attendance was a sellout of 13,917 . . . The road team has won seven straight games in the Islanders-Capitals regular-season series.