Friday night, Gordie Howe and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals were deadlocked. Now that he has overtaken Mr. Hockey, Wayne Gretzky himself is squarely in his sights.
In a victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, Ovechkin scored goal number 802 in his career. As a result, he now holds exclusive possession of the second position on the list of all-time goal-scorers.
Since scoring his 800th goal against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Capitals veteran has been chasing Howe’s record. Ovechkin became just the third player in NHL history to reach 800 goals in a career thanks to his hat trick on December 13.
On Friday night, the Capitals forward first tied Howe. After receiving a back feed from a teammate, Ovechkin fired a five-hole shot for his 801st career goal.
Ovechkin’s stated during the first interval, “It’s fantastic to be in this company, and obviously it’s extremely unique. I love it. I believe we are all currently writing history. I’m content and it’s a really amazing time.
One player remains in Ovechkin’s race for the record. Wayne Gretzky, a former star for the Edmonton Oilers, holds the record with 894 goals in his career.
Gordie Howe’s son Mark expressed his opinion to ESPN that the Capitals great may eclipse the Great One. “I’ve seen a lot of goalies who put the puck in the net with a level of skill that no one else can, but eventually the puck starts hitting the crest rather than the corner of the net. That hasn’t happened to Ovi yet, he added.
Whether or whether Ovechkin surpasses Gretzky, he will probably continue playing for the Capitals for the rest of his career. In July of last year, he agreed to a five-year, $47 million contract that will keep him in the capital city through 2026.