Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin scored his 801st and 802nd career goals Friday against the visiting Winnipeg Jets, passing Detroit Red Wings great Gordie Howe for second place on the NHL’s all-time list.
Ovechkin, 37, drew within 93 of breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record of 894 goals.
Ovechkin’s second tally Friday night came into an empty net with exactly one minute left. The goal, from above the left circle just inside the blue line, capped Washington’s 4-1 win.
“It’s nice to get it done at home in front of our house, family and friends,” Ovechkin said postgame. “It’s a great feeling. It’s a tremendous feeling. We just have to keep going and we’ll see what’s going to happen.”
The Capitals played a video on the stadium screen from Mark Howe, Gordie’s son and himself a Hall of Fame hockey player.
Mark Howe said, “I’ve had the opportunity to watch you play so many games as a scout, and you’ve been a pleasure to watch. You’re one of very few people in this game to me to bring a wow factor. You embrace the fans. You’re everything that my mother and father would be very proud of. I know if they were here today they would be at this hockey game. They would be the first ones to congratulate you. Congratulations — job well done. And now it’s time to set new goals for (passing Gretzky).”
With time winding down in a scoreless first period, Dylan Strome entered the offensive zone and left a drop pass for a trailing Ovechkin, whose snap shot beat Winnipeg goalie David Rittich five-hole at the 18:22 mark.
Ovechkin has 22 goals in 36 games this season. He became the third player to reach 800 goals when he notched a hat trick on Dec. 13 in a road win over the Chicago Blackhawks.