Alex Ovechkin passed Mark Messier for eighth place on the NHL goals list when the Washington Capitals forward scored twice at the Ottawa Senators on Friday.
"You can see how my linemates and my whole team played tonight," Ovechkin said after a 5-3 win. "Every time they had a chance to find me out there, they tried to do it. Obviously, I had plenty of chances today to score more, but I'll take two and move forward."
Ovechkin scored his 694th NHL goal at 10:27 of the second period and his 695th at 19:45 of the third period to pass Messier and move within five goals of becoming the eighth player in NHL history to score 700.
"When it is close to 700 goals, of course you are going to try to finish it up as quick as you can," Ovechkin said before the game. "But, yeah, I just don't try to think about much and try to do my best out there."
Ovechkin has played 1,135 NHL games. Messier scored 694 goals in 1,756 games in 25 seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks before retiring in 2005.
"Congratulations Alex on your recent goal-scoring accomplishments," Messier said. "You have amazed us all with your skill, shot and grit, a rare combination. But more importantly, you have inspired a generation with your passion to score and play the game. Continued success as you move up the goal-scoring leaderboard, passing many of the game's greats."
Ovechkin passed Steve Yzerman for ninth place by scoring his 693rd NHL goal in a 5-4 loss to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday. The 34-year-old has 11 goals in a five-game span for the first time in his NHL career, including consecutive hat tricks against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 16 and the New York Islanders on Jan. 18.
"I think [we've collected] all the goals since 690," Ovechkin said. "I think all the goals were collected, so it's good."
He is tied for the NHL lead with 37 goals with David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins.
"He's had a nice little run the past couple games," Washington defenseman John Carlson said. "I feel like he's always hungry to win, always hungry to score. … It's certainly nice to always score goals and it's nice to see that passion that he brings all the time, whether it was his first NHL goal or it's this one. I think that's his character and that's who he is."
Ovechkin is three goals from joining Gretzky as the only players in NHL history with at least 11 40-goal seasons. Gretzky scored at least 40 goals 12 times during his 20 NHL seasons with the Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and Rangers before retiring in 1999.
Ovechkin would be the first player to have 11 seasons with at least 40 goals with one team.
"We're so fortunate to have him in Washington, and what he's done for the game there in building it, how fortunate the fans are to see him 41-plus times a year," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "We're pretty lucky, and lucky as coaches and players to play with a guy that is chasing an unbelievable record and certainly hasn't stopped the last few games."
Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708) are the players who have scored 700 NHL goals.
"It's big numbers, obviously," Ovechkin said. "Not many people in NHL history do that, and being in that category with those names is something special."
NHL.com independent correspondent Callum Fraser contributed to this report