Flames fans relentlessly boo Alex Ovechkin on historic night

·2 min read

Alex Ovechkin hit a substantial milestone on Tuesday night, but it was slightly dwarfed by some fans in Calgary.

Ovechkin tied hockey great Jaromir Jagr for third on the NHL's all-time goals list but the Russian Washington Capitals star was treated to a parade of boos and jeers from Flames fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The taunting continued throughout the game, and especially whenever his name was mentioned by the PA announcer.

While it is normal to heckle an opposing player, this is steeped in the fact that Ovechkin has faced some heat amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine for his close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin. Ovechkin has been called out by the hockey world, including by goaltending legend Dominik Hasek, who referred to the 36-year-old as a “chicken sh–” when Ovechkin took an on-the-fence stance on the attack.

Prior to the game against the Flames, the Capitals released a statement about the situation overseas.

In addition to condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine and expressing hope for a peaceful resolution, the Capitals added their support for Russians in their organization.

“The Capitals also stand in full support of our Russian players and their families overseas,” the statement read. “We realize they are being put in a difficult situation and stand by to offer our assistance to them and their families.”

Flames fans were booing Alex Ovechkin all night on Tuesday. (Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports)
Flames fans were booing Alex Ovechkin all night on Tuesday. (Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports)

In Calgary, the Flames projected a massive Ukrainian flag on their ice during a game against the Montreal Canadiens last week, while the Ukrainian national anthem was performed prior to Monday's Battle of Alberta.

Ovechkin scored twice on Tuesday as his Capitals came back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 5-4 win over the Flames. With 36 goals this season, Ovechkin now sits with 766 in his career, just 35 behind Gordie Howe for second place all-time.

Washington plays in Alberta again on Wednesday, giving Edmonton Oilers fans a chance to join in on the boos.

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