WASHINGTON DC – Alex Ovechkin went from a game-time decision to bigger NHL history on Wednesday night.
The Washington Capitals star scored twice in the squad 5-1 victory above New York Rangers, giving him 732 career goals in 1,198 games. These goals propelled him past the Marcel Dionne Hockey Hall of Fame and into the only possession of fifth place of all time in career goals in the NHL.
The 36-year-old captain was questionable for the Capitals’ home opener due to a lower-body injury he sustained in their preseason final. But Ovechkin took part in full training on Wednesday, increasing the likelihood of him playing.
Ovechkin’s first goal came at 2:37 of the third period on the power play. He headed for the Rangers net as a puck was deflected by the Capitals forward Anthony mantha‘s chest and fell on the ice. Ovechkin hit the rebounding puck past the goalie Alexander Georgiev for her first goal of the season, tying Dionne.
It was his 270th career power-play goal, behind Dave Andreychuk (274) for most goals in NHL history.
His second goal was a shorthanded count. He passed the Rangers defender K’Andre Miller and and returned the puck on his backhand in front of Georgiev for the goal # 732.
On the next stoppage of play, the Capital One Arena scoreboard showed Ovechkin moving up the career goal rankings and playing a video message from Dionne congratulating Ovechkin on “your incredible achievement,” adding “I knew you were going to surpass me. .
The crowd howled and Ovechkin stood on the bench to greet them.
The scores brought Ovechkin one step closer to the ultimate goal of breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record 894 career goals.
Next on Ovechkin’s goal list: Hockey Hall of Fame member Brett Hull with 741 goals.