WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Alex Ovechkin rocketed a shot goal right off the faceoff, Evgeny Kuznetsov knew that he’d chipped in on history. He’d be credited with the primary assist on Ovechkin’s 767th career goal, moving him into third onto the NHL’s all-time goals list and making him the highest-scoring European of all time.
And for Kuznetsov, it was great to see Ovechkin convert after a number of Grade-A chances didn’t go in over the last couple of games. And with Ovechkin’s goal, Kuznetsov would finally make it into the milestone picture.
“I have pressure from Kuzy. Empty nets, breakaways. It’s hard to play with that kind of center when you have pressure all the time,” Ovechkin joked about Kuznetsov. “He wants to be in history, and right now, he is. He’s relieved too, right?”
“I got in the picture, finally. It took seven years,” Kuznetsov joked.
Kuznetsov had missed out on a couple of key milestone photos. Ovechkin took a solo shot for goals No. 600 and No. 700 and his 275th record-breaking power-play goal, all of which No. 92 assisted on.
“That’s why when he didn’t put me in the picture, it was just him,” Kuznetsov teased while affirming that he did in fact make it into the shot.
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On a more serious note, Kuznetsov said it was great to see his long-time friend and teammate continue his pursuit of Wayne Gretzky’s all-time NHL goals record, and he looks forward to seeing more history and memories being made to reflect on later down the road.
“For now, he just friend, teammate, right? You don’t really even think about who you play with. For us, he’s so close to us, and we never even talk about his accomplish all those milestones,” Kuznetsov shared. “I’m pretty sure one day, when I’m going to retire, I hope he’s going to be still friends with me. We’re going to sit somewhere and think about and remember some of those milestones. For now, we’re kind of turn the page and focus next. It’s such a long year and such a long career, so you don’t even think about that.”