The Russian is now second on the league’s all-time goals list.
Alexander Ovechkin has overtaken Canadian great Gordie Howe to move into second place on the NHL’s all-time goals list, with the Russian scoring twice in the Washington Capitals’ 4-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night.
Ovechkin moved onto 802 goals for his career, surpassing the 801 scored by Howe.
The only man now ahead of Ovechkin on the all-time list is Wayne Gretzky, who scored 894 goals during his remarkable career.
“You never thought it’s going to happen when you came into the league, you’re going to beat any Gordie Howe record or Wayne Gretzky record or any record,” Ovechkin said after his achievement.
“The whole situation happening right now, it’s a miracle. You know, it’s pretty special.”
Ovechkin drew level with Howe on 801 goals at 18:22 of the first period at Capital One Arena, firing a wrist shot which beat Jets goalie David Rittich to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead.
The Great 8 continues his climb. 📈
— NHL (@NHL) December 24, 2022
Ovechkin, 37, moved into outright second place on the all-time list with his second goal of the night into an empty net late in the third period. The goal was the Russian’s 22nd in 36 games this season.
“It’s a historic moment. Who knows who is going to score 800 goals next time? I hope someone [will], and I’m lucky enough to be able to stay healthy and be able to score so many goals,” added Ovechkin.
The forward’s wife and two sons were in attendance to watch his landmark moment, and he celebrated with them in the locker room afterwards.
“I want to say, first of all, thanks to all my teammates who I play [with], coaches for the trust, for the opportunity too to be able to be out there in different situations. Without them, I would never reach those milestones and reach those numbers,” said Ovechkin.
The son of late Canadian great Gordie Howe, Mark, was also among those to congratulate Ovechkin on his achievement in a video shared on the NHL website.
Ovechkin has spent his entire NHL career with Washington after being drafted in 2004 and making his debut in 2005.
He guided the team to the Stanley Cup in 2018, and is the only player ever to reach the 800-goal mark with a single team. Friday night’s game was Ovechkin’s 1,310th for the Capitals.
Washington owner Ted Leonsis said earlier this month that the team would do everything possible to assist Ovechkin in his pursuit of Gretzky’s all-time record.
The Russian winger, who signed a five-year extension with the Capitals in July 2021, has vowed that he will continue to place team ambitions ahead of any personal accolades.
Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov paid tribute to his compatriot, saying: “I’m glad that it happened in our house. Our fans deserved to be a part of that.
“That’s a lot of goals. And he still wants to score. It’s amazing to be a part of that.”
The Capitals’ win against the Jets was their fourth in a row and ninth in their last ten games.
Next up is a visit to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.