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Ovechkin draws praise from fellow NHL players for 600 goals

Opponents, teammates marvel at Capitals forward

NHL.com @NHL

Alex Ovechkin became the 20th player in NHL history and the only active player to score 600 career goals when he scored two goals in a 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Capital One Arena on Monday.

It was another milestone for Ovechkin in a career full of them.

Ovechkin has 42 goals this season. He is the third player in NHL history to begin his career with 13 straight 30-goal seasons (Wayne Gretzky, 13 seasons, 1979-92; Mike Gartner, 15 seasons, 1979-94).

 

[RELATED: Ovechkin scores 600th NHL goal for CapitalsCapitals top Jets in OT]

 

Ovechkin got his 500th NHL assist (Jan. 25) and 1,100th NHL point (Feb. 15) this season. 

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby, perhaps Ovechkin's biggest on-ice rival in the League, said Ovechkin should be considered one of the greatest NHL players of all-time. 

"Yeah, absolutely. I don't know the numbers to back it up, but I think from playing against him and seeing what he's done year after year, the consistency he's had and the clip at which he's continued to score. It's pretty incredible," Crosby said. "[You] need a lot of things to be able to do that. Just the longevity to be able to put that kind of season together year after year, stay healthy and do that. All those things. It's pretty amazing what he's done."

Crosby is one of many current NHL players to praise Ovechkin for scoring 600 career goals.

Video: WPG@WSH: Ovi buries rebound for 600th NHL goal

 

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks forward

"I mean, that's ridiculous. It just doesn't seem like that big of a deal for a guy who scores 40, 50 a year. You look at guys like him and Crosby and [Evgeni] Malkin, what they've done in this era of the game, I don't think there's anyone close to them. "

 

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning forward 

"It just goes to show how truly elite his shot is. The best release in the world. Teams study hours of tape and know where he's going to be and goalies know where it's going to come from, but he still finds a way to beat them. It just goes to show the quality of his shot."

 

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers forward 

"He's done it for many, many years now, and it's impressive to see him get 600. It's unbelievable. It's crazy to think how much he's been able to score in this day and age and in this era, where goal scoring has definitely been on the decline. It's impressive."

Video: WPG@WSH: Ovechkin discusses 600th goal, win over Jets

 

Derek Stepan, Arizona Coyotes forward

"He scored a lot of goals against me in my time [with the New York Rangers], and it seems to be all in the same spot. It's in his sweet spot. It says a lot of good things about him, but it also says a lot of good things about the guys that play around him that have been there for a long time. You look at a guy like Nick Backstrom, he just seems to continue to find him. John Carlson, those two guys always seem to find him in that spot and when gets in that spot, he's really dangerous."

 

Nikita Zadorov, Colorado Avalanche defenseman

"I think for every young kid in Russia, he was an idol. When we were growing up, we were watching his highlights, goals and everything. It was exciting when he had tricks. I was 12 or 13 and we would talk all the time, 'Did you see that goal he scored against Phoenix when he was laying on his back?' It is a great memory. It was great for young kids, whatever he did, all the guys looked up to him and tried to be as good as he is."

 
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks defenseman 

"He can score goals. One of the best goal scorers. When you put him in the spot, he'll score every time. He doesn't need much time, doesn't need a big windup. He can score. He scores from everywhere too. He's a big boy who can score."

Video: #NHLMilestones: Ovechkin tallies his 600th goal

 

Dmitry Orlov, Capitals defenseman 

"He's always hungry. He likes to play the game. He's always intense and he wants to work hard. He's a superstar in the League, and it's nice to see him play the most games [for the Capitals]. I think it's huge for him and his family, and I'm just proud of him. He's my teammate and my friend. It's nice to see." 

 

Patrick Kane, Blackhawks forward 

"What an amazing career. He's a guy, you look at him and they talk about the down years he's had, and he's had 30-plus goals in the down years. Seems like every year he's putting up 40, 50 goals. Whether the game's changed or not, he still finds ways to produce and score goals. That shot from the top of the circle has been probably the deadliest shot in the League. Teams still to this day are trying to figure out how to defend him, and he's still scoring goals from there."

 

Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets forward

"When I was younger, obviously he was going consistently 50 goals, 60 goals. Now it's even hard to score 40, and he has 40 already. I read right before the season that he's not in good shape and he's not going to score as much anymore, then a couple [hat tricks] in the first couple games. I think he just wants to show everybody that he's the best scorer in the game still."

 

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers goalie

 "A lot of guys score because it's accurate. A lot of guys score because it's fast. I think he has a combination of power, not always accurate, but so much power and fast. A lot of goals go through the arms, through the legs, because goalies try to squeeze it, but it's too hard. A lot of times you feel like, 'I got this,' but when he shoots you get surprised and it's like, 'I guess I didn't get it.' With him, you need to be in position. If you're late, it's always a tough save. You're not done, but it's going to be a lot harder. Good positioning on him is key."

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