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Ovechkin, Gretzky tie in charity NHL 20 series

Each wins once in 'The Great One vs. The Great Eight Showcase' to help raise more than $40,000

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Gretzky vs. Ovi: Chel

Gretzky vs. Ovi: Chel on Twitch

Wayne Gretzky opens the scoring against Alex Ovechkin as the two face off on NHL 20 on a Twitch stream

  • 00:29 •

In "The Great One vs. The Great Eight Showcase," Wayne Gretzky and Alex Ovechkin decided a tie was the best outcome.

The winner was those they will help through the more than $40,000 they raised in their EA Sports NHL 20 showdown on Xbox on Wednesday.

The matchup between Gretzky, who retired in 1999 as the NHL all-time leader with 894 goals, and Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals forward who is eighth in League history with 706 goals, was livestreamed on the Capitals' Twitch channel. Fans watching donated more than $16,000 to help those impacted by coronavirus, which has caused the NHL season to be paused since March 12.

The Gretzky family and Ovechkin combined to match the $20,000-plus donated by fans to increase the total to more than $40,000, which will be split between the Edmonton Food Bank and MSE Foundation's Feeding the Frontlines fund, which provides meals to the medical community.

Tweet from @Capitals: What an incredible night!Thanks to all who helped us raise over $20,000 for COVID-19 relief!And a special thank you to the Gretzky and Ovechkin families for matching the donation to push the total to over $40,000 for @MSEFndn���s ���Feeding the Frontlines��� fund and @yegfoodbank. pic.twitter.com/jPk4pKvYOJ

Gretzky and Ovechkin initially planned to play a best-of-3 series, but after Gretzky won the first game 5-4 in overtime, they decided to shorten the second game to two periods. When Ovechkin won the second game 4-1, they opted not to play a third game.

"We both are not very good at this game, but what a great cause, right, when everybody's so down and out," Gretzky said. "So, a fun night and hopefully everybody's having a little bit of enjoyment laughing at us."

Video: Gretzky vs. Ovi: Chel on Twitch

Ovechkin and Gretzky didn't have a lot of previous experience playing NHL 20, so each had a teammate. Ovechkin partnered with John "JohnWayne" Casgranda of the Capitals' esports brand Caps Gaming, who finished second at the 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship. Gretzky was assisted by his son Ty in the first game and his son Trevor in the second game.

The first game was intense with Ovechkin forcing overtime by scoring a shorthanded goal with 2.8 seconds left in the third period. After Gretzky scored 18:42 into sudden death, they needed a break.

"I'm sweating like in a game right now," Ovechkin said.

Ovechkin started quickly in Game 2, scoring 50 seconds in to grab a 1-0 lead. 

"Guess who?" Ovechkin yelled while watching his likeness do his "hot stick" celebration.

After Ovechkin made it 2-0 at 14:01 of the first period, Gretzky exclaimed, "I traded the wrong son!"

Video: Gretzky vs. Ovi: Chel on Twitch

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