Ovechkin alone for fifth in NHL scoring history

WASHINGTONAlex ovechkin scored two goals in the Washington Capitals’ opener of the season against the New York Rangers on Wednesday to overtake Marcel Dionne and claim only fifth in NHL history for the net.

Ovechkin tied Dionne with her 731st career goal, on a power play at 2:37 of the third period, to give Washington a 4-0 lead. He then used his speed to score shorthanded at 12:01 to make it 5-1 and pass Dionne.

“I’m enjoying the moment. It’s a huge privilege to be on this list, but as I always say, I go one game at a time, one day at a time, « said Ovechkin.

The 36-year-old forward has 732 goals on the clock in 1197 regular season games in 17 seasons with Washington, who selected him with the first pick in the 2004 draft. Dionne, who has been a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame since 1992, scored 731 goals in 1,348 games in 18 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers before retiring in 1989.

“I knew you were going to pass me,” Dionne said in a video shown in the arena. “I knew that when you hit the 700 mark. But the most important thing about it all is respect. You have a quality that is special, that of being a natural marker. It’s incredible. « 

Video: NYR @ WSH: Ovechkin’s 731st and 732nd goals

Ovechkin’s first goal was his 270th on the power play, which put him within four goals of Dave Andreychuk’s record.

Ovechkin was able to play in the Capitals’ opener even though his presence was uncertain due to a lower-body injury sustained in the team’s last preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. The Russian led the Capitals with 24 goals in 45 games last season despite missing 11 games – a personal high.

« You don’t get tired of it and it’s always special to be there to see these great moments and to be your teammate when it happens, » said the Washington forward. TJ Oshie. “I often joke with him that I will tell my grandchildren that I played with the ‘Roller Coaster’. We laugh, but it’s true. It is an honor to be with him as he surpasses the legends of our sport. « 

If he has a season of 37 or more goals, Ovechkin will take third place in history this year. The next players to catch up are Brett Hull at the fourth rung with 741, then Jaromir Jagr with 766. He will however have to wait a little longer to join Gordie Howe, second with 801 goals, and finally Wayne Gretzky at the first rung with 894.

« You will be able to overtake your friend Brett Hull soon, and there is nothing there, » added Dionne. And the great Gordie Howe, even though he played for a really long time, he never scored 50 goals (in one season).

“Wayne? Forget it, he’s in a class of his own. But you have a chance to join him. You have a chance! « 

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