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Ovechkin ties Fedorov for goals by Russian player

by Katie Brown

WASHINGTON -- Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 483rd NHL goal Saturday to tie Sergei Fedorov for the most by a Russian-born player.

He almost passed him.

Ovechkin scored a third-period goal that would have tied the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs but it was disallowed after a coach's challenge for goaltender interference.

"Still have one to pass the tie," Ovechkin said. "If not today, tomorrow."

Actually Tuesday, when the Capitals next play at the Detroit Red Wings, where Fedorov spent much of his career (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, FS-D, CSN-DC+).

Washington center Nicklas Backstrom tied the game Saturday with 0.8 seconds remaining in the third. Ovechkin scored in the fourth round of the shootout, and the Capitals defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 at Verizon Center.

Ovechkin tied Fedorov and the game with a goal 4:51 into the second period. His goal with 2:39 left in the third period did not count.

"Last year, that would be called a goal," Ovechkin said. "It's something new for us. I don't know who's making the call, the referees or guys from Toronto, but it is what it is. Sometimes it's a goal, sometimes it's not. Obviously, it [stinks], but I think it's OK. You have to think about the game."

Ovechkin, who has more goals than any player since entering the League in 2005, reached the milestone in 772 games, 476 fewer than Fedorov, who scored 483 goals in 1,248 NHL games, including 70 for the Capitals before he retired after the 2008-09 season.

Ovechkin had the only assist on Fedorov's 483rd goal, scored for Washington against the Atlanta Thrashers on April 7, 2009.

"You can tell he's having fun," Capitals goalie Braden Holtby said of Ovechkin. "He's always had that will to score, but I think what we have going on here, it's making it fun for him. He's a huge part of what we do and we're all very aware of how much he puts into our team and we're doing a better job of showing it to him."

Ovechkin holds the Washington record for most goals and has scored at least 50 in a season six times, including 53 last season. He is the fifth NHL player to score at least 30 goals in each of his first 10 seasons.

"Everybody on the bench was happy for him," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "He does stuff every night. [Tonight] really wasn't one of his best games, honestly. He scored some big goals, but it wasn't his best game in terms of his overall game. When you need him to step up, he does, and that's what stars do and he's a star. No question."

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