New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin has faced off against countrymate and Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin on several occasions already in his young career as the Metro Division rivals are forming a strong rivalry, especially after the Tom Wilson incident to end 2021.
Shesterkin recently spoke to sports.ru about the Great 8, praising his goal-scoring ability and giving his thoughts on whether or not Ovechkin can break Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record of 895.
“I believe that he will succeed. But I won’t help,” Shesterkin said.
The 26-year-old netminder is coming into his third full season up at the NHL level. He won the Vezina in 2021 after posting a league-leading .935 save percentage and managing a 2.07 GAA.
In each game he has played against the Rangers over the last two seasons, Ovechkin has scored against Shesterkin in all but one appearance.
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This past season, Ovechkin tied the all-time record for the most 50-goal NHL seasons with his ninth career 50-goal campaign. Also in 2021-22, he climbed all the way up from sixth on the NHL’s all-time goals list to third. On March 15, he passed Jaromir Jagr with his 767th career goal to become the highest-scoring European in league history.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 16, 2022
Ovechkin currently sits at 780 career goals. That’s 20 away from 800, 22 away from passing Gordie Howe and 115 from breaking Gretzky’s record.
In order to pass No. 99 within the remaining four years of the extension he signed in 2021, the 36-year-old must score at least 29 goals per season to hit 895.