Alex Ovechkin moved one step closer to the most elusive record in hockey on Friday, ripping home two goals to give him 802 for his career, passing the great Gordie Howe for second on the NHL's all-time goals list.
He passed Howe with an empty-net goal in the third period to seal Washington's 4-1 victory. Howe's son, Mark, recorded a video message to congratulate Ovechkin on his milestone goal.
Ovechkin currently sits 92 goals back of Wayne Gretzky's all-time mark of 894 and has a legitimate chance of breaking what appeared to be an untouchable record.
The Russian superstar has 22 goals and 40 points on the season, showing no signs of slowing down in his age-37 campaign. He joined the 800-goal club earlier this month when he recorded a hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“What he’s done year after year, the consistency, and him being able to produce the way he’s consistently done, it’s pretty remarkable,” said Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, the NHL's reigning MVP who scored 60 goals last season. "Every year he always plays every game like it’s his last. He’s just a horse out there. He loves to score goals, and I think that’s been pretty evident throughout his career. You can just tell."
Ovechkin's teammates don't take his dominance for granted and appreciate the opportunity to help rewrite the record books.
"It's history. Everyone in here talks about it, we understand the history of the game ... it's fun to watch, it's fun to be a part of. A dream come true to be honest," Strome said after the game.
"It's history. Everyone in here talks about it, we understand the history of the game ... it's fun to watch, it's fun to be a part of. A dream come true to be honest."
Dylan Strome after helping assist Alex Ovechkin on his 801st career goal tonight.#CapsJets pic.twitter.com/UKSREEi5Mw
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 24, 2022
With three years remaining on his current contract, Ovechkin does not intend on stopping anytime soon. Assuming he can stay healthy, he might not even need all three of those seasons to surpass The Great One.
With files from The Canadian Press
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