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Capitals' Alexander Ovechkin Reflects on Being 3rd NHL Player to Score 800 Goals

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 14, 2022

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 13: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals poses for a photo after scoring a hat-trick and his 800th career goal, following the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on December 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

Washington Capitals superstar winger Alexander Ovechkin joined an exclusive group Tuesday night, scoring his 800th career NHL goal.

The historic goal came in the third period of a 7-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, and it also completed a hat trick for the 37-year-old veteran:

B/R Open Ice @BR_OpenIce

In true Ovi fashion, #800 comes with a hat trick 🎩 <a href="https://t.co/h8zGuMuJXb">pic.twitter.com/h8zGuMuJXb</a>

Ovechkin is now one of only three players in NHL history to score at least 800 career goals, joining Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801).

Per ESPN's Kristen Shilton, Ovechkin appeared on SportsCenter after the game and suggested he was relieved to reach the milestone: "It's a special night. To get two goals right away, I could feel the game. I'm really proud that it's over. Now, we can move on and focus on the next one."

Ovechkin also gave a speech in the locker room, telling his teammates: "This ... it's huge. It's huge for hockey, it's huge for the organization. And to do it with you guys, it's special."

The Russian star's 800th career goal also gave him 20 on the season and made him only the third player in NHL history to score 20 or more goals in at least 18 consecutive seasons.

Aside from the COVID-19-shortened season of 2020-21, Ovechkin has never scored fewer than 32 goals in a single season in his career.

Ovechkin is on pace to score nearly 53 goals this season if he plays in every game, which would give him his second consecutive 50-goal season and the 10th such season of his illustrious career.

It was long thought that no player would ever come close to touching Gretzky's career goals record, but now it feels almost inevitable that Ovechkin will be the one to break it.

Despite being in the midst of his 18th NHL season, Ovechkin isn't slowing down at all, and he is in the mix to potentially lead the league in goals for the 10th time in his career.

Ovechkin has already done it all with nine Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophies (leading goal scorer), three Hart Memorial Trophies (MVP), one Art Ross Trophy (leading point scorer), one Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year), one Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) and one Stanley Cup to his credit.

However, scoring 800 goals is one of his biggest accomplishments yet, and it may not be long before he cements himself as the greatest goal scorer in NHL history.