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Ovechkin scores 700th NHL goal in Capitals loss to Devils

Becomes eighth NHL player to reach milestone with third-period goal against Devils

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Ovechkin joins 700-goal club

WSH@NJD: Ovechkin scores 700th NHL goal

Alex Ovechkin joins an illustrious group as he becomes just the eighth player in NHL history to reach the 700-goal mark

  • 00:52 •

NEWARK, N.J. -- Alex Ovechkin became the eighth player in NHL history to score 700 goals, but the Washington Capitals lost to the New Jersey Devils 3-2 at Prudential Center on Saturday.

The forward's milestone came on his second shot of the game when he took a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov in the right face-off circle and beat goalie Mackenzie Blackwood on a slap shot for a 2-2 tie 4:50 into the third period.

Ovechkin joined Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708) with 700 goals.

"That's pretty good company," Ovechkin said. "Obviously, when you get closer, you were thinking about when it's going to happen, but I knew someday, even if I didn't score today, we still have 20 games (left) and one goal, I was good." 

 

[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Devils highlights]

 

Damon Severson scored a power-play goal on a snap shot from the right face-off circle to give the Devils a 3-2 lead at 18:01 of the third period.

"I almost pulled my hamstring on my goal celebration," Severson said. "I was pretty fired up. We could have easily just kind of sat back and said, 'Wow', after Ovechkin scored 700. Congrats to him, great player, but we got the win and one-upped them, so it was great."

Video: WSH@NJD: Severson rifles Gusev's set-up for PPG late

Tom Wilson scored, and Ilya Samsonov made 25 saves for the Capitals (37-18-6), who are 0-3-1 in their past four games and remained tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh lost to the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 and hosts Washington on Sunday.

"I think our compete and our work ethic was there," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "We need to keep that and keep executing and hopefully turn the tides."

Jesper Bratt had a goal and an assist, and Blackwood made 33 saves for his sixth straight win for the Devils (24-27-10), who are 7-3-3 in their past 13 games.

Blackwood is the first Devils goalie to win six straight games since Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg each did so in 2010-11. Blackwood also is the first Devils rookie to win as many as six straight since Sean Burke won seven in a row in 1987-88.

"He instills a lot of confidence in our group and tonight was no exception," Devils coach Alain Nasreddine said. "When we need him to make some big saves, he does and that's what you want out of your goalie."

Blackwood lost his stick on the Ovechkin goal.

"I lost it on someone's leg (Michal Kempny), but found the puck behind the net and they threw it in front for a one-timer," Blackwood said. "You try and get as big as you can at that point to challenge, but that's a pretty good shooter right there ... he blasted it."

Video: WSH@NJD: Bratt buries breakaway goal to open scoring

Bratt took a stretch pass from Severson at the red line and scored on a breakaway to give the Devils a 1-0 lead at 12:55 of the first period.

Wayne Simmonds gave the Devils a 2-0 lead on a shot off the right post for a power-play goal at 12:12 of the second period.

Wilson pulled the Capitals within 2-1 when he deflected a shot past Blackwood from the slot on the power play at 14:44 of the second period.

"That one felt really good because there was a lot of energy in the building," Devils forward Kyle Palmieri said. "I think every guy in this locker room competed.

"You try your best to limit [Ovechkin's] opportunities but he's a guy whose shot can beat you from pretty much anywhere. There aren't too many guys who can pull that shot off that he scored on."

 

They said it

"I was standing up and then guys were jumping on the ice so I was like, 'What are we doing here?' and I think I was the last guy in the pile. I wasn't sure whether we were jumping on or not. Obviously great celebration for [Ovechkin] and for us as a team. We're super happy for him and he seemed pretty happy too." -- Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom

"When Ovi tied it, we had the same mindset as always. You still have a game to play. It's 2-2 and you can't stop playing because some guy scored a big goal. I thought we did a good job of responding and we're fortunate enough to get the win there. He's got a wicked shot so congratulations to him on that. It's a huge milestone and probably one not a lot of people will get." -- Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood 

 

Need to know

Ovechkin has scored 30 goals in 57 games against the Devils, including 11 on the road in 26 games. ... Backstrom has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past eight games. ... Bratt has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past five games. ... Blackwood has allowed two goals to Ovechkin in four games.

 

What's next

Capitals: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday (12 p.m. ET; NBC)

Devils: At the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Video: Blackwood, Severson lead Devils by Ovechkin, Capitals

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