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Ovechkin passes Lemieux on NHL goals list in Capitals win

Scores hat trick against Islanders to tie Yzerman for ninth @NHLdotcom

Ovi nets hat trick to tie Yzerman

WSH@NYI: Ovi nets hatty to tie Yzerman on goals list

Alex Ovechkin scores his 3rd goal of the game to complete the hat trick, tying Steve Yzerman for 9th all-time in goals with No. 692

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals passed Mario Lemieux and tied Steve Yzerman on the NHL goals list Saturday, and likely will keep climbing it before the season ends.

The forward scored three goals in a 6-4 win against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, giving him 692 to tie Yzerman for ninth place. He passed Lemieux (690) for 10th and is within two goals of Mark Messier (694) for eighth.

With eight more goals, Ovechkin will become the eighth player in NHL history to reach 700, joining Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708).

"It's great players there," Ovechkin said. "It's something special. It's history. It's pretty cool. It's great names. I still have a year and a half (on his contract) and then we'll see what's up."

Video: WSH@NYI: Ovi scores to pass Lemieux on all-time list

Ovechkin scored into an empty net with 56 seconds remaining to tie Yzerman and complete the Capitals' five-goal comeback after they trailed 4-1 entering the third period. It was his third goal of the game.

Ovechkin scored on a breakaway at 10:22 of the first period to tie Lemieux with his 690th goal, then passed Lemieux on a left-wing rush to pull Washington within 4-3 at 5:18 of the third. 

With his 26th NHL hat trick, and second in as many games, the 34-year-old tied Maurice Richard for eighth in League history.

"It's amazing. It's something special," Capitals forward Jakub Vrana said. "It's obviously really nice to see him getting these records. ... He's got a special shot. The best shot I've ever seen. I'm really happy for him."

Ovechkin has 692 goals in 1,133 games and 15 seasons with the Capitals. Yzerman scored that many in 1,514 games and 22 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings before retiring in 2006.

"Those are players that I can just speak personally on this one, that I used to look up to and always considered it an honor to play against them," said Capitals coach Todd Reirden, who was an NHL defenseman from 1999-2004. "… To now see Ovi passing them and still have plenty of games in front of him to continue to move forward from there is pretty awesome to see."

Ovechkin is tied with Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews for second in the NHL this season with 34 goals, two behind Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the League lead. Ovechkin is the second player to score at least 30 goals in each of his first 15 NHL seasons, joining Gartner (1979-80 through 1993-94).

"To me, at this point, he would be the greatest goal-scorer of all time," said Islanders coach Barry Trotz, who coached Ovechkin with the Capitals from 2014-18. "We see how he shoots the puck and the angles he is able to place in the spots where he gets the pass … and he finds a way to get it into the net or through a spot. For the most part, you don't see the shot, you hope it just hits you as a goaltender."

Ovechkin has eight goals in his past three games, including a hat trick in a 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. This is the third time -- all in the past three seasons -- he has had a hat trick in consecutive team games. Ovechkin is the third player in NHL history to do that; Joe Malone did it four times, Gretzky three.

"It's unbelievable. I think his stats show how good he is," said Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov, who has been Ovechkin's teammate for eight seasons. "He already gets a milestone in almost every [game]. It's pretty cool to see, and he's a good teammate. He's our leader, and I think he showed that today."

Ovechkin scored twice in a 2-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, when he passed Teemu Selanne (684 goals) for 11th. It is the first time in his NHL career he has had three straight multigoal games.

"He's been in a really good place the last three games," Reirden said. "Obviously eight goals in the past three games is phenomenal. He was going, and we needed to get him out there." staff writers Tom Gulitti and David Satriano contributed to this report

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