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Ovechkin passes Gartner for seventh in NHL history with 709 goals

Capitals forward scores against Rangers, eight behind Esposito for sixth place

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

Ovechkin nets 709 to pass Gartner

WSH@NYR: Ovi passes Gartner with career goal No. 709

Alex Ovechkin finds space after a face-off win and fires in his 709th career goal, passing Mike Gartner for seventh on the NHL's all-time list

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Alex Ovechkin passed Mike Gartner for seventh on the NHL goals list when the Washington Capitals forward scored against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

Ovechkin scored his 709th goal 11:01 into the third period. It got the Capitals within 3-2, but they lost 4-2.

"Yeah, it's great to move on. Not done yet," Ovechkin said. "Just try to enjoy my time right now and try to enjoy this moment. The team, obviously it [stinks] we didn't get the point, but, you know, beginning of the year, just trying to find our game."

It was Ovechkin's third goal in seven games this season and second in three games after missing four due to NHL COVID-19 protocol. The 35-year-old has played 1,159 regular-season games in 16 seasons with the Capitals.

"It's an amazing accomplishment," Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. "I thought Alex was hunting the whole night. He was firing and he was firing from all over. I've watched him for so many years from a different bench, and to actually be on the bench and appreciate his talent, it's even more special. So it's a great accomplishment for him."

Ovechkin tied Gartner by scoring his 708th goal 28 seconds into overtime for a 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins on Jan. 30.

Gartner scored 708 goals in 1,432 regular-season games in 19 NHL seasons, including 397 goals in 10 seasons with the Capitals, before retiring in 1998.

Ovechkin is eight goals behind Phil Esposito, who is sixth in NHL history with 717 in 1,282 regular-season games in 18 NHL seasons. He retired in 1981.

Last season, Ovechkin led the NHL with 48 goals, tied with Bruins forward David Pastrnak, and passed Luc Robitaille (668), Teemu Selanne (684), Mario Lemieux (690), Steve Yzerman (692) and Mark Messier (694) to climb from 13th on the NHL goals list.

Ovechkin scored his 700th NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 22, 2020, joining Gartner, Esposito, Marcel Dionne (731), Brett Hull (741), Jaromir Jagr (766) Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894).

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