Hat trick provides Capitals captain Ovechkin 800 profession objectives

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored the 800th objective of his profession Tuesday evening, turning into the third participant in NHL historical past — behind Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe — to achieve the milestone.

He additionally grew to become the primary to do it with a single franchise, and it got here as a part of a hat trick efficiency in a 7-3 victory over the Blackhawks in Chicago.

“This … it’s huge. It’s huge for hockey, it’s huge for the organization,” a drained Ovechkin instructed his teammates within the locker room after the win. “And to do it with you guys, it’s special.”

The 37-year-old left winger tallied his historic marker within the third interval of his 1,305th profession sport. It was additionally Ovechkin’s twentieth objective this season, giving him an 18th consecutive marketing campaign with a minimum of 20. Solely Brendan Shanahan (19 straight) and Howe (22) have achieved the identical feat.

Tuesday additionally marked the 162nd multigoal sport of Ovechkin’s profession, which trails solely Gretzky’s mark of 189 video games. He picked up his first two of the evening within the opening interval.

“It’s a special night. To get two goals right away, I could feel the game,” Ovechkin mentioned on ESPN’s “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt” after the sport. “I’m really proud that it’s over. Now, we can move on and focus on the next one.”

The Blackhawks’ devoted feted Ovechkin with a sea of caps after the hat trick, and after the sport ended he was congratulated by Chicago stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews at heart ice, a transparent testomony to what his accomplishment meant throughout hockey.

“The fans here did a really good job of taking a second and just honoring something,” Washington coach Peter Laviolette mentioned. “Because they’re hockey fans, and what happened was a hockey moment. It wasn’t about a win or a loss or Chicago against Washington. Somebody did something great and the hockey fans in Chicago noticed.”

Within the first interval, Ovechkin scored the 136th game-opening objective of his profession, breaking a tie with Jaromir Jagr in that class.

Howe grew to become the primary participant to hit 800 objectives on Feb. 29, 1980. He would stand alone there for 14 years till Gretzky grabbed his 800th on March 20, 1994. Ovechkin’s subsequent objective — No. 801 — will tie him with Howe for second-most in NHL historical past. Gretzky holds the document at 894 objectives.

“I’m just trying to think about the next game, the next shift and not what’s going to happen out there,” Ovechkin mentioned. “I’m just going to try to help the team win, and it doesn’t matter how.”

In his run to 800, Ovechkin went via a stretch of scoring 4 empty-net objectives in three video games to achieve 53 empty-netters in his profession. Solely Gretzky has ever buried extra (56).

Now in his 18th NHL season, Ovechkin has made a behavior of racking up information. He has 9 50-goal seasons to his credit score — matching Gretzky and Mike Bossy — and have become the oldest participant (at age 36) when he hit the 50-goal threshold in 2021-22.

His 9 Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophies are essentially the most earned by any skater, and Ovechkin is the one participant to have received a Stanley Cup (in 2018), a Conn Smythe Trophy (as playoff MVP), a Calder Trophy (for rookie of the 12 months), an Artwork Ross Trophy (for main the league in factors), a Hart Trophy (as league MVP), a Ted Lindsay Award (for many excellent participant as voted by the NHLPA) and a Rocket over the course of their profession.

Ovechkin was drafted first total by Washington in 2004 and confirmed an instantaneous scoring contact notching two objectives in his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 2005. His finest offensive marketing campaign up to now was 2007-08, when he grew to become the twenty third participant to attain 65 objectives in a season whereas ending with 112 factors.

The Capitals, slowly getting wholesome after a sluggish begin, have now received 5 in a row. They’ll host the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

“As soon as it’s over, we celebrate, we’re happy,” Ovechkin mentioned, “and we move on.”