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Ovechkin Didn’t Want To Score 802 On Empty Net. Kuznetsov Made Him

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin didn’t want to score his 802nd career goal on an empty net, but Evgeny Kuznetsov passed it right back to him.



WASHINGTON — With the fans chanting his name and a minute left in regulation against the Winnipeg Jets, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had the puck on his stick and a wide-open net waiting, which would give him his 802nd goal and push him past Gordie Howe for second on the NHL's all-time goals list. However, he didn't want to score and passed it to Evgeny Kuznetsov for the goal. But Kuznetsov wasn't having it.

Kuznetsov passed it right back to Ovechkin, who had no choice but to fire into the net and secure the milestone at home before the holiday break.

"Yeah you know, it's kind of, if you have a chance, take it," Ovechkin said. "I gave it to Kuzy and he's like, 'I don't want to take it.' But after that, it's special."

Kuznetsov explained why he didn't shoot on the empty net.

"I don't know. I'll feel probably bad if I score there and half of the world probably will be so mad at me," Kuznetsov laughed. "You know, I do have a lot of haters, reputation, whatever. So I rather lose the puck over there and backcheck if he didn't score. So I'm glad it happened in front of our fans."

After the goal, the bench cleared to congratulate the 37-year-old on his latest milestone, and even the Jets came out to shake Ovechkin's hand following the win.