Alex Ovechkin ties Gordie Howe for second all-time with 801st NHL goal

Alex Ovechkin ties Gordie Howe for second all-time with 801st NHL goal

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored the 801st goal of his career on Friday to tie Gordie Howe for second on the NHL’s all-time goals list.

Ovechkin’s 801st came at the end of the first period against the Winnipeg Jets, when he scored off the rush, taking a drop pass from teammate Dylan Strome.

Howe finished a 1,767-game career with that total, one Ovechkin has managed to tie in 1,310 games. Howe was 52 years old when he scored No. 801.

At the time of Howe’s retirement in 1979, he held the record as the NHL’s all-time goals leader — until Wayne Gretzky scored his 802nd NHL goal with the Los Angeles Kings in 1994.

Ovechkin now trails only Gretzky, who tops the NHL’s all-time leaderboard with 894 goals.

“It’s not even a question that he will pass me, and I think it’s great,” Gretzky told David Waldstein of The New York Times last year. “There is no doubt that, ultimately, he will break the record.”

Ovechkin joined Gretzky and Howe as part of the 800 goals club with a hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks last Tuesday.

The Russian forward surpassed Jaromir Jagr for third all-time last season during a turbulent stretch for the longtime Capitals forward, who faced criticism amid his home country’s invasion of Ukraine ordered by Vladimir Putin, a president he has long supported.

The 37-year-old took little time to settle into the NHL, scoring 52 goals in his rookie campaign back in 2005-06.

Ovechkin’s lowest total in his first five seasons was 46 goals. He also recorded the highest single-season mark of his career in that span, scoring 65 goals in a Hart Trophy-worthy campaign.

Last season, Ovechkin joined Gretzky and Mike Bossy as the only players to record nine 50-goal seasons. Ovechkin is currently in his 18th NHL season, three of which have been shortened by the NHL lockout or the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ovechkin has 21 goals in 36 games so far in 2022-23. 

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