Mr. Hockey, The Great One, and now, The Great Eight.
For nearly 14 years, Gordie Howe held his place as the only player in NHL history with 800 regular-season goals. For almost 29 years more, it was only Howe and Wayne Gretzky. That changed Tuesday, when Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored goal No. 800 against Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek to join the League’s most exclusive goals list.
* Ovechkin completed the hat trick at 6:34 of the third period to reach the milestone, with assists to Anthony Mantha and Evgeny Kuznetsov. They are among a group of 107 players who have assisted on at least one Ovechkin goal (to go along with his 39 unassisted tallies). A list of players to assist on Ovechkin goals is included among the charts at the end of this document.
* Ovechkin (162 GP) required the fewest games to go from goal No. 700 to goal No. 800. Wayne Gretzky skated in 231 games from Jan. 3, 1991 (700) to March 20, 1994 (800), while Gordie Howe played in 256 NHL contests – over the course of more than 11 years – from Dec. 4, 1968 (700) to Feb. 29, 1980 (800). Ovechkin averaged 0.62 goals-per-game from one milestone to the next, compared to 0.44 for Gretzky and 0.39 for Howe.
* Ovechkin has averaged at least 0.60 goals-per-game in his entire NHL career, since he turned 30 and over the course of his jump from 700 to 800 goals. Using that rate as a guide, The Great Eight is on track to overtake The Great One as the all-time goals leader in his next 158 games – or sometime within the first-third of the 2024-25 season. Ovechkin should pass Howe before Christmas.
MILESTONE MARKERS: FROM 1 TO 800 (AND OTHERS IN BETWEEN)
A look at some of the major milestone goals in Alex Ovechkin’s career to date:
* Goal No. 1: On Oct. 5, 2005, Ovechkin beat Blue Jackets goaltender Pascal Leclaire at 7:21 of the second period for his first NHL goal. He added his second tally just 4:30 later to become the first player in Capitals history to score multiple times in his League debut.
* Goal No. 50: On April 13, 2006, Ovechkin scored his 50th NHL goal against Thrashers goaltender Mike Dunham to become the fourth rookie in NHL history to tally at least 50 times in one season. He finished with 52 goals in 2005-06, the third most in one season by a rookie, and remains the only active player to net 50 in his first campaign.
* Goal No. 100: On Oct. 12, 2007, Ovechkin scored his 100th NHL goal (167 GP) to become the 10th player in the League’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to reach the milestone in fewer than 170 career games. It was his first-ever goal at historic Madison Square Garden (5 GP) and fourth against Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (whom he went on to beat a total of 24 times in 42 career regular-season meetings).
* Goal No. 163: On April 3, 2008, Ovechkin beat Lightning goaltender Karri Ramo for his 65th and final goal of the 2007-08 season – his highest total in one campaign to date. That came less than two weeks after he became the 19th different player in NHL history to score at least 60 times in one season (a feat accomplished by only two players since Ovechkin). That also helped him capture his first career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.
* Goal No. 200: On Feb. 5, 2009, Ovechkin netted his League-leading 37th goal of 2008-09 and 200th of his NHL career when he beat Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick in their first-ever meeting. The 23-year-old became the fourth player in NHL history to reach the 200-goal mark within his first four seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux.
* Goal No. 300: On April 5, 2011, Ovechkin (25 years, 200 days) netted a tying goal in Toronto – beating JamesReimer in their first head-to-head meeting – to become the sixth-youngest player in NHL history at the time of his 300th career tally. The only players to do so at a younger age were Wayne Gretzky (22 years, 321 days), MarioLemieux (23 years, 179 days), Dale Hawerchuk (24 years, 308 days), Mike Bossy (25 years, 60 days) and Steve Yzerman (25 years, 176 days).
* Goal No. 400: On Dec. 20, 2013, Ovechkin scored into an empty net in Carolina for his 400th career goal in the third game of a four-game goal streak – the only “century mark” milestone goal on which Nicklas Backstrom recorded an assist. At the time, it was the 15th goal streak of four or more games in Ovechkin’s career – a number that has since increased to 28 and has been achieved by only two others in League history: Mario Lemieux (34x) and Wayne Gretzky (30x).
* Goal No. 473: On April 2, 2015, Ovechkin scored twice against Carey Price at Bell Centre in Montreal and overtook Peter Bondra as the Capitals’ all-time goals leader with his first tally of the night. At the time, he was one of three active players who held their franchise’s goals record – New Jersey’s Patrik Elias and San Jose’s Patrick Marleau were the others.
* Goal No. 500: On Jan. 10, 2016, playing in front of family and Capitals faithful at Verizon Center, Ovechkin became the fifth-fastest in NHL history to reach the 500-goal mark (801 GP) with his first of two tallies against Ottawa’s Andrew Hammond. It was his second multi-goal game in as many days, the fourth (and most recent) time he achieved that feat.
* Goal No. 600: On March 12, 2018, Ovechkin registered one of his eight multi-goal games of 2017-18 – hitting the milestone with his second tally against Connor Hellebuyck – as Washington edged Winnipeg in overtime. The fourth-fastest in NHL history to reach the 600-goal milestone, Ovechkin ended the season with four goals in his final three games to claim the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy with 49 goals. While the final game of the regular season saw him fall just shy of his eighth 50-goal season, his final playoff contest would see him hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time.
* Goal No. 700: On Feb. 22, 2020, Ovechkin became both the second-youngest and second-fastest player to join the NHL's 700-goal club with his tally in New Jersey against Mackenzie Blackwood, joining seven others in the prestigious group. The only player to reach the 700-goal mark at a younger age or in fewer games than Ovechkin (age 34, 1,144 GP) was all-time goals leader Wayne Gretzky (age 29, 886 GP).
* Goal No. 787: On Nov. 5, 2022, Ovechkin scored against Coyotes netminder Karel Vejmelka to become the all-time goals leader for a single franchise by passing Gordie Howe (786 w/ DET) with his 787th career goal. Ovechkin had tied Howe two days earlier with goal No. 786 against none other than Howe’s former club, the Red Wings.
* Goal No. 800: On Dec. 13, 2022, Ovechkin opened the scoring just 24 seconds into the game, added a second first-period marker and completed the hat trick on Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek to join Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe as the third player in NHL history to reach the 800-goal milestone.
EIGHT #NHLSTATS FOR THE GREAT EIGHT
* Ovechkin’s 800th goal was his 14th versus the Blackhawks, ninth against goaltender Petr Mrazek and seventh at United Center. It also was his 503rd career even-strength goal.
* Alex Ovechkin’s 800th goal was his 20th of 2022-23, making him the third player in NHL history to record 18 consecutive 20-goal campaigns, following Gordie Howe (22) and Brendan Shanahan (19). Ovechkin also became the sixth player in NHL history with 18 or more 20-goal seasons at any point.
* Goal No. 800 was Ovechkin’s 325th since celebrating his 30th birthday (545 GP; 0.60 G/GP), which ranks seventh in NHL history behind Gordie Howe (415 in 991 GP; 0.42 G/GP), Phil Esposito (391 in 686 GP; 0.57 G/GP), Johnny Bucyk (374 in 907 GP; 0.41 G/GP), Teemu Selanne (338 in 887 GP; 0.38 G/GP), JeanRatelle (337 in 798 GP; 0.42 G/GP) and Brett Hull (328 in 729 GP; 0.45 G/GP). Only two other active players have at least 200 goals since turning 30: Joe Pavelski (240 in 637 GP; 0.38 G/GP) and Patrice Bergeron (204 in 504 GP; 0.40 G/GP).
* Ovechkin has faced 31 players currently in the Hockey Hall of Fame, including 2022 inductee Roberto Luongo against whom he scored nine goals (his most vs. any HHOF member). Overall, he has tallied 23 times against current inductees. Against the 27 current Hall of Fame skaters Ovechkin faced, he scored the most in head-to-head showdowns against Martin St. Louis (42 G in 66 GP; St. Louis: 25 G).
* The road to 800 goals has seen Ovechkin score in 46.4% of his appearances (605 of 1,305 GP). That includes 133 contests with exactly two goals, 25 with exactly three goals and four with exactly four goals – a total of 162 multi-goal performances (second-most in NHL history) and 29 hat tricks (sixth-most in NHL history). Since 2005-06, Ovechkin has 71 more multi-goal games than the next-closest player (Sidney Crosby: 91).
Amazing! #800 on a hattie no less. Congratulations #8! Alex Ovechkin.
Mantha got an A on #800.
Great job Ovie.
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