Ovechkin ties Hull for 4th all-time; Caps down Sabres 5-3
WASHINGTON - Alex Ovechkin scored his 741st career goal to tie Brett Hull for fourth on the NHL’s all-time list, and helped the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 on Monday night.
“I just take it day by day," said the 36-year-old Ovechkin, who has 11 goals this season after entering Monday tied for the league lead. "You know it’s nice to be in that company. It’s pretty big numbers, so just move on. Obviously, it’s nice to be tied but I still have a couple games left.”
Ovechkin also assisted on two goals, including Wilson's first that gave Washington an early lead it never relinquished. Connor McMichael and John Carlson also scored, and Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves for the Capitals.
Ovechkin broke through when he redirected Dmitry Orlov’s shot into the top left corner nearly midway through the second period. That gave Washington a 3-1 lead that stood until Bjork scored early in the third period.
Ovechkin is on pace to pass third-place Jaromir Jagr’s 766 goals before the end of the season. Wayne Gretzky holds the all-time record with 894 goals, followed by Gordie Howe with 801.
“Let's don't jump ahead,” Ovechkin said of chasing down Jagr. “We have to (pass Hull) first and then we're going to talk about it.”
Ovechkin nearly got his history-making goal in the first period when he redirected Trevor Van Riemsdyk’s shot from the point. But it caught a piece of Wilson’s arm on its way past Tokarski, so Ovechkin received the assist.
The actual goal came on a similar play, on a lesser-known skill than his powerful shot.
“There's going to be times when we need people in front of the net, and he does go there,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said of Ovechkin.
(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)