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Capitals honor Ovechkin for 700th goal with tribute video, gifts

Other members of exclusive club including Gretzky, Jagr sent well wishes

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

Capitals honor Ovi reaching 700

WPG@WSH: Capitals pay tribute to Ovi scoring No. 700

The Capitals honor Alex Ovechkin becoming the eighth player all-time to reach the 700-goal milestone with a pregame ceremony at Verizon Center

  • 05:21 •

WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin was congratulated by his peers in the NHLs' 700-goal club, but the Washington Capitals forward's 1-year-old son Sergei stole the show during a ceremony prior to Washington's game against the Winnipeg Jets at Capital One Arena on Tuesday.

"It was pretty special, but Sergei was on my shoulder so I (had to) look up and down all the time," Ovechkin said. "But, yeah, thanks again for everything this organization did for me. It's a pretty cool moment."

Ovechkin was honored for becoming the eighth player to reach 700 NHL goals when he scored against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. The 34-year-old joined Hockey Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky (894 goals), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708) in the 700-goal club.

Each of the other six living 700-goal scorers - Gretzky, Jagr, Hull, Dionne, Esposito and Gartner - along with the late Gordie Howe's son Mark Howe congratulated Ovechkin during a video tribute that played during the ceremony. 

"If I would be Wayne Gretzky, I would be shaking right now because I think you can beat him," Jagr said in his message.

Gretzky has said multiple times that he believes Ovechkin can break his NHL record of 894 goals. 

"I'll be there saying the same thing when you get to 800," Gretzky said during his video message. "Good luck."

Video: WPG@WSH: Ovechkin swats puck home for goal in front

The video, which also included messages from Ovechkin's parents, Mikhail and Tatyana, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom and defenseman John Carlson, ended with best wishes from Ovechkin's dog, Blake, and Sergei, saying "Papa" and blowing kisses.

"Yeah, blowing the kiss," Ovechkin said. "He started getting ready for that."

It's been an exciting few days for the Ovechkin family. Ovechkin's wife Nastya announced on Instagram on Monday that the couple is expecting their second child. 

"It's great," Ovechkin said after the Capitals morning skate Tuesday. "More kids, the more fun."

Nastya and Sergei, who will turn 2 on Aug. 18, joined Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, Capitals president Dick Patrick and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly on the ice for the pre-game ceremony.

On behalf of the NHL, Daly presented Ovechkin with a Tiffany crystal to commemorate his 700th goal. The Capitals gave Ovechkin a custom made Hublot titanium watch with the number 700 on the watch face.

"It's incredible to see what Alex has been able to accomplish, especially in today's game," Daly said. "I think in today's game there's certainly more challenges in scoring those goals. I went on this morning and saw kind of the mashup of his goals and a lot of them I remember, a lot of them I was fortunate enough to be in the building for, but it is just an amazing feat for sure."

Ovechkin reached the 700 goals in his 1,144th regular-season game, the second-fewest games in NHL history behind Gretzky, who did it in 886 games.

Ovechkin was also the second youngest player to get to 700 behind Gretzky, who was 29 when he scored his 700th while playing for the Los Angeles Kings against the New York Islanders on Jan 3, 1991. 

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