For Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, hitting milestones has become something of a norm as he climbs higher on the NHL’s all-time goals list, but Thursday’s feat stood out.
In Detroit, the longtime home of legend Gordie Howe, and with the Stanley Cup and Mr. Hockey’s son, Mark, in the building, the Great 8 made history and tied Howe for the most goals with one franchise in NHL history against the Red Wings on Thursday.
It took Ovechkin 401 fewer games than Howe to reach 786 career goals with the Capitals, the team that he started with in 2005 and is in his 18th season with.
“It is huge, obviously,” Ovechkin told reporters postgame. “I played my whole career here in Washington. And to tie with a legend, it is pretty big number and pretty cool accomplishment.”
No. 786 for Alex Ovechkin as he ties Gordie Howe for the most goals with one franchise.
Caps lead 1-0 pic.twitter.com/lyFnaLvI1H
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) November 4, 2022
Ovechkin met with Mark prior to the game, who said that the Howe family wishes him the best as he chases the all-time goals record. But Ovechkin also still holds close the memory of the time he got to meet Mr. Hockey at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.
“Unfortunately Gordie passed away. I had a chance to meet him in Montreal. He was a huge winner,” Ovechkin said. “Greatest player to play hockey and I have a chance to shake his hand, talk about hockey, talk about everything. It was very good memory.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 3, 2022
Head coach Peter Laviolette also praised the Great 8 for his dedication to the organization.
“It doesn’t happen a lot. It’s probably a rare thing. Oftentimes, players, they go different places and h4e’sa always been steadfast in his love for DC and the Washington Capitals and this team organization and I think there’s something to be said for that.”
READ MORE ON WHN: Takeaways From Washington Capitals’ 3-1 Loss To Detroit Red Wings
Days before hitting free agency in the 2021 offseason the 37-year-old signed a five-year extension to stay with the club for the remainder of his career. He said that he wants to not only retire a member of the Capitals but wants to break the all-time goals record in D.C. He must score at least 29 goals a year over the next four seasons to do so.
Through 12 games so far this season, Ovechkin has six goals and four assists for 10 points. He is at 786 career goals, and is 14 away from 800, 16 from passing Howe for second on the NHL’s all-time goals list and 109 from passing Wayne Gretzky’s 894 goals for the most in NHL history.
Washington fell 3-1 to the Red Wings on Thursday.
“How I said, it’s pretty cool. It’s great accomplishment,” Ovechkin said. “It sucks we lost, but yeah, it’s pretty cool.”