WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin handed Gordie Howe for second on the NHL profession objectives record Friday evening, scoring his 802nd into an empty web with a minute left within the third interval of the Washington Capitals’ recreation in opposition to the Winnipeg Jets.
After tying Howe earlier within the recreation and seconds after hitting the put up together with his first empty-net try, Ovechkin fired and related from contained in the blue line for No. 802. Teammates leapt off the bench to rejoice, and followers rose to their ft and chanted, “Ovi! Ovi!”
A video tribute from Howe’s son, Mark, adopted. Gordie Howe died in 2016 at age 88.
“We need to congratulate you on such a improbable achievement,” Mark Howe stated. “You’ve been a pleasure to observe.”
Ovechkin is now 92 objectives from tying Wayne Gretzky’s file of 894 that lengthy appeared unapproachable.
“What he’s executed yr after yr, the consistency, and him with the ability to produce the way in which he’s persistently executed, it’s fairly outstanding,” stated Toronto star Auston Matthews, the NHL’s reigning MVP who scored 60 objectives final season. “Yearly he all the time performs each recreation prefer it’s his final. He’s only a horse on the market. He loves to attain objectives, and I feel that’s been fairly evident all through his profession. You’ll be able to simply inform.”
Alex Ovechkin celebrates after scoring in opposition to the Jets. AP
Gordie HoweGetty Photos
And Ovechkin doesn’t intend on stopping any time quickly. He’s signed for 3 extra years after this season in hopes of surpassing 894 objectives.
“He scores in bunches greater than anybody ever, and that’s in all probability why he’s the place he’s proper now,” Washington defenseman John Carlson stated. “This historical past, the folks (he’s passing), you’re like, holy smokes, you get to play with a man for 13 years that’s beating these guys within the historical past books. It’s fairly cool stuff.”
Ovechkin’s 801st aim was his 52nd — essentially the most of any opponent — in 71 video games in opposition to the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise. He additionally scored his 600th aim at house in opposition to Winnipeg.
Jets affiliate coach Scott Arniel, who spent the earlier 4 seasons as a Capitals, assistant, stated he realized shortly that Ovechkin “doesn’t cease.”
“He’s such a pushed man when he goes out to play,” Arniel stated. “(He’s not) only a slap shot, one-timer man standing on the facet on the ability play. I noticed all of the objectives he scored standing in entrance of the web. Even the hat trick he acquired in Chicago, all three had been proper there. He’s executed numerous that as nicely.”
Ovechkin scored in his first recreation dealing with David Rittich, who grew to become the 166th NHL goaltender he has crushed for a aim throughout his 18-year profession. Solely Jaromir Jagr at 178 and Patrick Marleau at 177 have scored in opposition to extra goalies.