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Ovechkin Not Sweating Being Stuck At 800

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin remains at 800 goals and on the verge of Gordie Howe, but he’s not overly concerned.



For the last four games, all eyes have been on Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. Cameras have been following him around D.C. and beyond, while the media circus, hockey world and team are collectively holding their breath each time he has gone into the last four games, looking for his 801st goal to tie Gordie Howe for second on the NHL's all-time goals list. It hasn't dropped — yet — for No. 8, but he's not sweating it.

Ovechkin became the NHL's all-time shots leader on Thursday after picking up six shots in a 3-2 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators, a milestone he was more than happy to reach. He also had two assists and almost had 801 on a shot that trickled through Cam Talbot and into the crease, but it didn't have enough to get past the goal line on its own. Sonny Milano stepped up and put it home.

Since scoring his 800th goal off a hat trick back on Dec. 13 in Chicago, he hasn't been able to find twine, though he has points in seven of his last eight games overall. He isn't afraid to admit that he's hungry for that historic strike as he continues chasing Wayne Gretzky, he's not getting caught up in any concern.

"You just have to fight through it," Ovechkin said postgame. "If I was playing out there and had zero chances? Yeah, I would be worried," he said. "But I have a chances. Goalie played good."

He added that he isn't feeling any different and knows that he's getting chances and that nothing's changed with regard to the opposition trying to shut him down.

"It's just one of those moments where you have to fight through it," he said, adding, "Obviously, every time when my line's on the ice,  we play against the best defensive out there and I don't feel any different," Ovechkin said.

The 37-year-old also said that he's more focused on Washington's performance and play, as the Capitals continue to work their way back up the standings after a lackluster start to the season. Washington has won eight of its last nine outings and is getting secondary scoring from beyond the top 6. Also, after the win in Ottawa and a regulation loss for the New York Islanders on Thursday, the team is back in playoff position in the second Wild Card spot.

"Right now, it's important to get two points and keep moving in the standings," Ovechkin stressed.

His teammates also aren't the least bit concerned.

"He'll score another 100," Nic Dowd joked.

"He's trying this best and sometimes it's not going in, but I'm pretty sure it'll happen at some point," Evgeny Kuznetsov added and joked that to score, he can "hit the net."

Ovechkin and Washington are set to fly back from Ottawa as soon as possible with a snowstorm raging up north. The Capitals return home to face Winnipeg on Friday, where the Russian will get another chance to tie — and potentially pass — Howe.