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Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored an empty net goal in the waning moments of the Capitals 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night. This was his 17th goal of the season and the 797th of his career, placing him just three goals shy of the 800-goal threshold.
With about three minutes remaining in the game and the Capitals leading 4-2, the Jets pulled goaltender Connor Hellebuyck in favor of the extra attacker. Ovechkin struck with his empty net goal at 17:48 in the third period. He was assisted by defenseman Dmitry Orlov.
— Capitals Replays (@capsreplays) December 12, 2022
The tally was Ovechkin’s 17th goal of the season and the 797th of his career. He is now just three goals shy of the 800-goal plateau, four goals shy of tying Gordie Howe for second place on the all-time list, and five goals shy of sole possession of second place all-time.
He now has 53 career empty net goals, which ranks in second place behind Wayne Gretzky, who scored 56 goals with the goalie pulled.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 12, 2022
Ovechkin is on pace to score 46 goals this season. Should Ovechkin reach the 40-goal mark, it would mark his 13th career 40-goal season, passing Wayne Gretzky (12) for the most in NHL history.
Ovechkin has scored a goal in three-straight games (4 goals) and has nine goals in his last 12 games. Ovechkin’s 17 goals this season lead the Capitals and is tied for eighth in the NHL.
Marcus Johansson on Alex Ovechkin’s empty-net goals:
“That must be some kind of record, four in three games.”
Ovechkin’s fourth straight ENG matched the longest such run in NHL history.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) December 12, 2022
Only three other players have scored four straight empty netters: Jake Guentzel (4 in 2022-23), Vladislav Namestnikov (4 in 2021-21), and Gustav Nyquist (4 in 2019-20).
The Capitals won their fourth consecutive game and it was the third consecutive game that featured an empty net goal by Ovechkin. He scored an empty net goal in their home game against the Seattle Kraken on Friday and two empty-net goals in their game against the Philadelphia Flyers last Wednesday.
His goal tonight gave him his 1,440th NHL point, which ranks 18th on the all-time list.
By Diane Doyle