Alex Ovechkin climbs goal list in Capitals’ win over Rangers
Posted On October 14, 2021
WASHINGTON – Alexander Ovechkin’s rise in the NHL’s career goalscoring list took another milestone in the Washington Capitals’ first game of the year.
With two goals against the New York Rangers on Wednesday, Ovechkin passed Marcel Dionne for fifth on the all-time list.
He scored on a power play in the third period for the Capitals’ fourth goal (career goal # 731) to tie Dionne. The standoff lasted 10 minutes, as Ovechkin provided the final tally – a rare shorthanded strike (the fifth of his career and the first since the 2008-09 season) for the No.1 goal. 732 – passed Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev later in the frame to seal the Capitals’ 5-1 victory.
The Washington captain played cool after the win, while joking that he’s ready to take on more penalty responsibilities.
“Yeah, I’m just trying to do my job,” Ovechkin said. When asked if climbing the all-time list adds any motivation, he replied:
“I’m just making the most of my time (playing).”
The next to be surpassed by Ovechkin are Brett Hull (741) and Jaromir Jagr (766). Wayne Gretzky tops the list with 894 goals and has said twice last week that he hopes Ovechkin, in his 17th season, can play long enough to break his record. Gordie Howe (801 goals) is second and Ovechkin will (likely) have to wait a season or two to catch up with the Detroit Red Wings legend.
Ovechkin wasn’t the only member of the squad with a night out. Coach Peter Laviolette overtook John Tortorella in victories with the No. 674, making him the most successful American coach in history.
“He’s not a winning guy,” said Laviolette, who started his 20th season behind an NHL bench on Wednesday. “It’s a winning team. So I think about it.”
Only in her second year with the Capitals, Laviolette has nevertheless already experienced many celebrations centered on Ovechkin.
“It seems like every night we recognize him for something or that he’s passing someone or doing something special,” the coach said. “Tonight is a very big accomplishment.”
Even more impressive, Laviolette said, is that Ovechkin – a playing time decision due to a lower body injury that left him on a daily basis – not only played, but contributed on a large scale with his two goals and two assists.
“There (were) a lot of question marks,” Laviolette said.