Capitals' Alex Ovechkin Passes Phil Esposito for 6th-Most Goals in NHL History

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2021

Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin in action during an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)
Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

Add another accomplishment to Alex Ovechkin's illustrious career.

The Washington Capitals left winger put his team ahead of the New York Islanders 2-0 in Tuesday's contest with his 718th career goal. The future Hall of Famer passed Phil Esposito for the sixth-most goals in NHL history with the one-timer that went right past Semyon Varlamov.

NHL on NBC Sports @NHLonNBCSports

FAREWELL PHIL! 🚨 Alex Ovechkin has passed the Great Phil Esposito for the 6th most goals in #NHL history. #ALLCAPS https://t.co/EId8zjCKyU

Ovechkin came into Tuesday's game with 21 points on 11 goals and 10 assists this season after scoring 67 points on 48 goals and 19 assists during the shortened 2019-20 campaign. He has scored at least 50 goals in eight seasons since he entered the league in 2005-06.

While it remains to be seen how long the 35-year-old will play, he could well climb the all-time goals list in the coming years.

Wayne Gretzky's 894 goals may be a bit ambitious, but Marcel Dionne (731), Brett Hull (741), Jaromir Jagr (766) and Gordie Howe (801) are not that much further ahead of Ovechkin following his latest goal.

Regardless of where he ends up on the list, he is one of the best players in NHL history.

He is a Stanley Cup winner, 12-time NHL All-Star Team selection, three-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner and nine-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner who also has a Calder Memorial Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy on his resume.

Ovechkin has an opportunity to add a second Stanley Cup to that list if the Capitals continue to play well. They entered play in second place in the East Division with 40 points, just two behind the Islanders.