Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 42nd goal of the season on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center to become the eighth player in NHL history to reach the 700-goal mark, joining Hall of Famers Mike Gartner (708), Phil Esposito (717), Marcel Dionne (731), Brett Hull (741), Jaromir Jagr (766), Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894).
Ovechkin reached the 700-goal mark in his 1,144th career game, the second-fewest games required to reach the milestone in NHL history. Gretzky (886 games) and Hull (1,157 games) are the only players to record 700 goals in fewer than 1,200 games. Ovechkin went from 600 to 700 goals in only 154 games, the fewest games to make that leap for any member of the 700-goal club. It marks the second-fewest games Ovechkin has required to go from one 100-goal milestone to another in his career (100 to 200 goals, 129 games). Ovechkin has averaged 0.61 goals-per-game at this point in his career, ranking fifth in NHL history (minimum 300 games played), including an NHL-best 0.58 rate since his 30th birthday on Sept. 17, 2015. Among players in the 700-goal club, only two scored at a rate of 0.50 goals per game or higher from the age of 30 onward (Esposito: 0.57; Dionne: 0.51).
Video: WSH@NJD: Ovechkin scores 700th NHL goal
This season, Ovechkin ranks third in the NHL with 42 goals. Ovechkin reached the 40-goal mark before any other player, the ninth time in his career he was the first player to reach the mark, extending his NHL record. His 11 40-goal seasons are the second-most in NHL history, only trailing Gretzky's 12, and he is the only player in NHL history to record 11 40-goal seasons with one team. He recorded his 40th goal in 53 games, the third-fewest games to reach the mark in his career, trailing his 2009-10 season (51 games), when he was 24 years old, and his 2007-08 season (52 games), when he was 22 years old. He became the 10th player in NHL history to score 40 goals at the age of 34 or older and the first since Daniel Alfredsson in 2007-08. Only two players have scored 50 goals at the age of 34 or older: Johnny Bucyk in 1970-71 (51 goals) and Jagr in 2005-06 (54 goals). Ovechkin will be 34 years and 201 days old on April 4, the final game of the season, and he is currently on pace to finish his year with 57 goals.
Ovechkin is aiming to further set an NHL record for most goals in a season for the ninth time in his career. If he accomplishes the feat, he will also be awarded with his ninth Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy. No other player has won the trophy more than twice since its creation during the 1998-99 season.
Ovechkin was selected by the Capitals in the first round, first overall, in the 2004 NHL Draft. The Moscow native has registered 1,270 points (700g, 570a) in 1,144 career games with Washington. Ovechkin ranks first in franchise history in goals (700), points (1,270), power-play goals (259), game-winning goals (110), overtime goals (23), shots (5,519) and multi-goal games (143).
Since entering the NHL at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals (700), points (1,270) power-play goals (259), power-play points (481), game-winning goals (110). In addition, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals since 1993-94 despite beginning his NHL career in 2005. He is the only player in the NHL to score 30 or more goals in each season since 2005-06. Since 2005-06, he holds a 242-goal lead over the next closest player.
In his career, Ovechkin has won a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe Trophy, a Calder Trophy, an Art Ross Trophy, three Hart Memorial Trophies, three Ted Lindsay Awards and eight Maurice Richard Trophies. He is the only player in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe, a Calder, an Art Ross, a Hart, a Ted Lindsay and a Maurice Richard Trophy.
MILESTONE REFLECTIONS: ALEX OVECHKIN (Provided by NHL Stats)
100th NHL Goal: Oct. 12, 2007 (167th Career Game, 167 Game Scoring Pace from 0 to 100 Goals)
Ovechkin scored his 100th career goal in his 167th career game. It was his first-ever goal at Madison Square Garden (five games played) and fourth against Henrik Lundqvist. At the time, only Dany Heatley (105 goals in 170 games) had more goals since Ovechkin entered the League. The 22-year-old finished 2007-08 with a career-high 65 goals to capture the first of his NHL-record eight Maurice 'Rocket' Richard trophies.
200th NHL Goal: Feb. 5, 2009 (296th Career Game, 129 Game Scoring Pace from 100 to 200 Goals)
Ovechkin netted his NHL-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.
300th NHL Goal: April 5, 2011 (473rd Career Game, 177 Game Scoring Pace from 200 to 300 Goals)
Ovechkin (25 years, 200 days) netted a tying goal in Toronto to become the sixth-youngest player in NHL history at the time of their 300th career goal. He scored again the next night to finish 2010-11 with 32 goals (79 games), tied for the lowest single-season total of his NHL career (2012-13: 32 goals in 48 games). Among players to play at least 10 NHL seasons, only two have finished outside the top five in the NHL in goals fewer than four times: Ovechkin (2010-11 & 2016-17) and Mike Bossy (1983-84 & 1986-87).
400th NHL Goal: Dec. 20, 2013 (634th Career Game, 161 Game Scoring Pace from 300 to 400 Goals)
Ovechkin scored 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. That marked one of 23 goal streaks of four or more games in Ovechkin's career; Mario Lemieux (34), Wayne Gretzky (30), Brett Hull (26), Jaromir Jagr (26) and Marcel Dionne (25) are the only players with more.
500th NHL Goal: Jan. 10, 2016 (801st Career Game, 167 Game Scoring Pace from 400 to 500 Goals)
Playing at the Verizon Center, Ovechkin became the fifth-fastest in NHL history to reach the 500-goal mark (801 games) with his first of two tallies against Ottawa. It was his second multi-goal game in as many days, the fourth (and most recent) time he achieved that feat.
600th NHL Goal: March 12, 2018 (990th Career Game, 189 Game Scoring Pace from 500 to 600 Goals)
Ovechkin registered one of his eight multi-goal games of 2017-18 - hitting the milestone with his second tally - 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.
700th NHL Goal: Feb. 22, 2020 (1,144th Career Game, 154 Game Scoring Pace from 600 to 700 Goals)
Ovechkin recorded his 700th goal at the Prudential Center. He became the second-fastest player in NHL history to reach the 700 goal mark (1,444 career games), only trailing Wayne Gretzky (886 games). The 154 games it took Ovechkin to go from the 600 to 700 goal milestone marked the least amount of games a player has ever required.