Will Ovechkin score 70 goals?

The Capitals star is on a historic pace, but sustaining it won't be easy

Updated: November 27, 2013, 1:06 PM ET
By Neil Greenberg | ESPN Insider

Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington CapitalsG Fiume/Getty ImagesAlex Ovechkin has tallied 20 goals in just 22 games this season for the Capitals.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 20th goal of the season in the third period against Toronto on Saturday, becoming the first player in the league to reach the 20-goal plateau. That gives the "Great Eight" 20 goals in 22 games, putting him on a 73-goal pace over 80 games (he missed two games due to injury earlier this season).

The last time a player scored 70 or more goals in a season was more than 20 years ago, when Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny both tallied 76 during the 1992-93 season.

Will Ovechkin be the next to make history? Here's a look at why he will, why he won't and our overall projection.

To read the rest of Neil Greenberg's article about whether Alex Ovechkin can sustain his current goal-scoring pace and net 70-plus goals, sign up to become an ESPN Insider.

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.