Capitals star Alex Ovechkin scored his 700th career goal on Saturday against the Devils to become only the eighth player in NHL history to accomplish the feat.
Ovechkin reached the milestone during the third period with assists by Nick Jensen and Evgeny Kuznetsov to tie the game 2–2. His teammates immediately swarmed him on the ice, and the sound of the crowd's cheers filled the Prudential Center.
Reaching the 700-goal milestone was a long-time coming for Ovechkin, a 15-year veteran who waited more than two weeks between scoring career goals 698 and 699. Capitals GM Brian MacLellan told Sports Illustrated's Alex Prewitt earlier this week that he felt as if the 700-goal chatter was a distraction for the team's star forward.
"Up until that point, the puck was following him around and going into the net, and then it got to the media point, and all of a sudden there's focus on it, and it tightens up around our team until he gets it," MacLellan said. "It's an easy thing to say versus do, to just let it happen, let's just play and it'll happen organically."
In scoring his 700th goal, the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL draft joins Mike Gartner (708), Phil Esposito (717), Marcel Dionne (731), Brett Hull (741), Jaromir Jagr (766), Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894) on the historic list.
Ovechkin is the second-youngest and second-fastest player in NHL history to reach the 700-goal milestone, trailing only Gretzky in both categories. He also joins Howe (Red Wings) as only the second player ever to score all of his goals with one team.
The 12-time All-Star has now scored 42 goals this season. In each of the past two seasons, Ovechkin has led the league in goals scored, and done so eight times throughout his career.
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