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Ovechkin quietly puts up superstar numbers

The Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin is easily the most under-appreciated superstar in major sports.

Last night, Ovechkin scored a hat trick to end an eight-game stretch during which he had scored just once to raise his goal total for the season to 52. He's the first player to reach 50 in the NHL this year and with 15 games remaining, he has a chance to be the first player to reach 60 in more than a decade, a feat last accomplished by Mario Lemieux.

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Plus, Ovechkin's individual efforts have helped make the Capitals a contender for a playoff spot. Last night's 10-2 rout of the Boston Bruins have Washington within a handful of standings points of qualifying for a playoff spot.

Despite that, the Capitals are still not an easy sell in Washington. Although the official attendance figures are the best since the strike (14,918), the Caps are still 25th out of 30 teams.

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Meanwhile, Ovechkin keeps playing hard, is team-oriented, remains extremely likable and comes up with fantastic individual efforts.

Photo credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

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