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Ovechkin welcomed to 600-goal club in special tribute video

Capitals captain honored for incredible feat before game on Friday

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

Ovi honored for 600 goals

NYI@WSH: Capitals celebrate Ovechkin for 600 goals

The Capitals honor Alex Ovechkin with a ceremony celebrating his 600 goals prior to their contest against the Islanders

  • 07:02 •

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals honored left wing Alex Ovechkin for reaching the 600-goal milestone in a ceremony prior to their game against the New York Islanders at Capital One Arena on Friday.

Ovechkin became the 20th player in NHL history to reach 600 goals with two in the Capitals' 3-2 overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. The forward scored his 599th goal on a 5-on-3 power play 4:35 into the game and scored his 600th on a scramble 3:53 into the second period.

Ovechkin was joined on ice during the ceremony by his wife, Nastya Ovechkina; Capitals owner Ted Leonsis; and Capitals president Dick Patrick.

The ceremony began with a video tribute that included congratulatory messages from 600-goal scorers Jari Kurri (601 goals), Luc Robitaille (668), Brendan Shanahan (656), Joe Sakic (625), Steve Yzerman (692) and Jarome Iginla (625). Leonsis and Patrick then presented Ovechkin with a portrait painted by Tony Harris, who also painted the portraits of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian, including Ovechkin's, last year.

Ovechkin scored his 600th goal in his 990th NHL game, joining Wayne Gretzky (718 games), Mario Lemieux (719) and Brett Hull (900) as the only players to reach the milestone in fewer than 1,000 games. In 991 games with the Capitals, the 32-year-old had 1,110 points (600 goals, 510 assists).

"He's a great goal-scorer. He's a great player," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said before the game. "For this franchise, they'll probably be putting up a statue up front [outside Capital One Arena] at some point, which they should."

Ovechkin is on pace to become the first Capital to play in 1,000 games at the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 1. Selected by Washington with the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, he became the first player in Capitals history to reach 1,100 points in a 5-2 win at the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 15.

Ovechkin leads the NHL with 42 goals and is seeking to lead the League in goals for the seventh time in his 13 seasons, which would tie Bobby Hull for the most in history. Ovechkin also can become the fourth player in NHL history to lead the League in goals after his 32nd birthday. He'd join Maurice Richard (33 years old in 1954-55), Gordie Howe (35 in 1962-63) and Phil Esposito (33 in 1974-75).

Since entering the NHL at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals (600), points (1,110), power-play goals (224), power-play points (430) and game-winning goals (100). His 22 overtime goals are an NHL record.

Ovechkin is the only player in the NHL to score at least 30 goals in each season since 2005-06, and his average of 0.61 goals per game is fifth in NHL history (minimum 300 games played), trailing Mike Bossy (0.76), Cy Denneny (0.75), Lemieux (0.75) and Pavel Bure (0.62).

"His time in the League and his window, he is the greatest goal-scorer in his generation right now," Trotz said.

The Capitals (40-23-7) are in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 87 points. The Pittsburgh Penguins also have 87 points, but the Capitals own the tiebreaker because they have played two fewer games.

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