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Ovechkin to Play in His 1,000th Career NHL Game Tonight at Pittsburgh

Capitals captain will become the first player in franchise history to play 1,000 career games and the first from the 2014 NHL Draft class

by Washington Capitals @Capitals / WashingtonCaps.com

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is scheduled to become the first player in franchise history to play 1,000 career NHL games tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ovechkin will become the first player selected in the 2004 NHL Draft to play in 1,000 games. Additionally, Ovechkin is the 54th player in NHL history to play his first 1,000 games with a single franchise.

Video: #OV1000

This season, Ovechkin leads the NHL with 45 goals and leads the Capitals in even strength goals (30) and points (83), marking the fifth time he has recorded at least 30 even strength goals. Ovechkin has scored 18.7 percent of the Capitals' total goals this season, has taken 14.8 percent of the team's total shot attempts, leading the NHL in both categories, and has 23 goals against current playoff-bound teams, which ranks second among players with at least 40 goals this season.

The Capitals are 35-9-3 this season when Ovechkin records a point, good for a .777 point percentage, a higher point percentage than each of the current top five scorers in the NHL. Ovechkin is looking to reach the 50 goal mark for the eighth time in his career to join Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky as the only players with eight 50-goal seasons (Bossy and Gretzky each recorded nine 50-goal seasons). Ovechkin, 32, is also aiming to become the second player since the 1967-68 expansion era to lead the NHL in goals at the age of 32 or older (Phil Esposito led the NHL twice in goals just before his 33rd and 34th birthday).

Ovechkin was selected by the Capitals in the first round, first overall, in the 2004 NHL Draft. The Moscow native has registered 1,118 points (603 goals, 515 assists) in 999 career games with Washington and became the first player in franchise history to record 1,100 career points on Feb. 15, 2018 at Minnesota. 

In addition, Ovechkin became the NHL's leader in overtime goals (22) on Oct. 20, 2017 at Detroit. Ovechkin ranks first in franchise history in goals (603), points (1,118), power-play goals (227), game-winning goals (101), overtime goals (22), shots (4,875) and multi-goal games (119). The 6'3", 235-pound left wing is a three-time winner of the Hart Trophy and a six-time winner of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy.

Since entering the NHL at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals (603), points (1,118), power-play goals (227), power-play points (434) and game-winning goals (101). In addition, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals since 1998-99 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 and his average of 0.60 goals per game is fifth in NHL history (minimum: 300 games played), trailing only Bossy (0.76), Cy Denneny (0.75), Mario Lemieux (0.75) and Pavel Bure (0.62).

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