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Having already tied the great Mark Messier in the second period of the Capitals’ 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin made history yet again in the closing minute of the game by scoring an empty-net goal to take sole possession of eighth all-time on the NHL Goals Scored list.
Having scored his 694th career goal in the second period, Ovechkin scored the tie-breaking tally at the 19:47 mark of the third period to give him career goal no. 695 to move into eighth all-time in NHL history in goals. The goal came on an assist by John Carlson, whose assist made him the all-time leading assist leader in franchise history among defensemen.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 1, 2020
The goal gives Ovechkin 37 for the 2019-20 season, tying him with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the league lead. Ovechkin is on pace for 59 goals on the season, which would put him in elite company with Phil Esposito.
Alex Ovechkin is now on pace for 59 goals this season. If he does it, he would tie Phil Esposito for the 6th most in NHL history (717) & if he gets 1 more than that, he’d also pass Esposito (61 at age 33 in 1974-75) as the oldest player ever to have a 60+ G season
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) February 1, 2020
Messier, whose hold on eighth place in the NHL record was tied and broken on the same night, released a statement following Ovechkin’s accomplishment:
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 1, 2020
The Caps’ captain becomes just the second player ever to score 11 or more goals in a five-game span, joining Joe Mullen, who did so in December 1991 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
By Michael Fleetwood