Photo: Rafael Suanes / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters
Each week over the last 10 weeks or so, I took a look back at what I believed were the top moments of this past season. At long last we have reached the #1 moment!
Alex Ovechkin Scores His 500th Goal | January 10, 2016
I have to admit, I was a little bit biased in my selection of the number one moment of the season, however I know most Caps fans will agree with my selection. I was lucky enough to be in the stands for this historic moment, right behind the net where it all happened. Getting to 500 was quite a journey for Alexander the Great with many twists and turns, as I pointed out in my very first article “Alex Ovechkin’s Road to 500 Goals” published by NoVa Caps back in early December.
There was a plethora of lamp lighting in the Caps 7-1 win over Ottawa.
On the evening of this game, the Redskins were hosting a playoff game at FedEx Field. The puck drop happened during the fourth quarter of that game. Despite that, there was still a sell-out and sea of red at Verizon Center and it was rocking that Sunday night as anxious fans awaited to see if their hero would make history.
The Capitals wasted no time after an early PK. Justin Williams found the net with a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot at 8:07 in the first after a nice backwards feed by Andre Burakovsky between the legs along the boards. T.J. Oshie then drew an interference call to give the Caps their first power play and then scored not too long after to put the Caps up 2-0.
The Senators got a goal back early in the second period but that was the closest they would get that night. Zach Sill gave the Caps a two goal lead at 6:01 by capitalizing on a lucky bounce by the puck. Dmitry Orlov stretched the lead to 4-1 at 7:55 with a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle.
The teams then traded power plays when Orlov got called for holding at 10:50. After a successful PK the Caps went back to the power play with a tripping call by Mark Stone at 15:20. Then, it happened, Alex Ovechkin makes history by scoring his 500th career goal!
Jason Chimera had the puck down low near the back-right corner of the net. Ovechkin was lurking in his favorite spot, the left face off circle. Chimera fed him the puck, Ovechkin ripped it in and the crowd went ecstatic!
This video from the stands captures the atmosphere inside the building.
Alex’s 500th goal comes right around the 4:50 minute point in the above video. The video was taken just a couple of sections from where I was sitting. I would’ve taken a full video too but I was so caught up in the moment, I was too busy high fivin’ and hugging every Caps fan around me! The game was stopped for about five minutes. Ovechkin’s teammates mobbed him on the ice and video footage on the jumbo-tron showed Ovechkin’s mom and dad as well as Caps’ owner Ted Leonsis in sheer joy for their son and team captain. Many in attendance were throwing their hats on the ice as Ovechkin came out to acknowledge and salute the overjoyed fans!
Fans weren’t the only ones going crazy. Listen to John Walton’s call on the moment.
Ovechkin was honored at the next Caps home game four nights later. Check out the tribute video as legends of the game congratulated him. You’ll be surprised at who came on at the end.
History was made on January 10, 2016 at the Verizon Center, it was a moment of time I will never forget.
Next week will be our last week with hockey vacant, World Cup of Hockey will start the following week, I’ll have one more moment to reflect on for the encore and it’s going to be a Beast of an encore!
In case you missed the other nine moments you can take a look by clicking below:
By Michael Marzzacco