WASHINGTON D.C. -- Alex Ovechkin made more NHL history Wednesday night, from being a game time decision to becoming a game-time player.
Washington Capitals' star, the Washington Capitals player, scored two goals in their 5-1 win over the New York Rangers. That gives him 732 career goals across 1,198 games. These goals helped him surpass Marcel Dionne, Hockey Hall of Famer, and place him in fifth place for NHL career goals.
"I enjoy my time. It's an honor to be on that list. But, as Ovechkin said, "Game-by-game, daily."
Ovechkin, 36, was not able to play in the Capitals' home opener due to a lower-body injury that he suffered during their preseason finale. Ovechkin was able to participate in full practice Wednesday, which increased the chance that he would play.
He said that it was not the best week to be getting ready for an opening night. There were many questions about his health. Peter Laviolette, Capitals coach, said that there were still questions this morning. "He was an integral part of the game, and he jumped in to it."
Laviolette made history by winning his 674th victory and surpassing John Tortorella as the NHL's most successful American-born head coach.
Ovechkin scored his first goal at 2:37 in the third period of the power play. Ovechkin drove to the Rangers' goal after a puck was deflected off the chest of Capitals forward Anthony Mantha and fell to the ice. Ovechkin tossed the puck past Alexandar Georgiev, his first goal of this season, and tied Dionne.
This was his 270th career goal in power-play, surpassing Dave Andreychuk (274), for the most NHL history.
His second goal was shorthanded. For goal number. 732
The scoreboard at Capital One Arena showed Ovechkin climbing up the leaderboard. Dionne played a video message congratulating Ovechkin for "your incredible achievement" and adding, "I knew that you were going to surpass me."
Ovechkin stood at a bench to salute the crowd.
Ovechkin was able to move closer to his ultimate goal of breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record for career achievements, 894.
Next on Ovechkin's goals list: Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull, with 741 goals.
Hendrix Lapierre, a nineteen-year-old, had the honour of scoring his first NHL goal the same night Ovechkin (one of his favourite players growing up) scored No. 732
"You can see many things on TV. You watched him play as a child. Lapierre stated that it was amazing to actually see him score goals in real life. He was a game-time choice. He scores two goals when he comes in. For a reason, he's the greatest goal-scorer ever. You can see the joy in his eyes when he celebrates. He wants to achieve that goal.
Capitals winger T.J. Oshie saw his fair share of Ovechkin’s goals in his 414 regular season games in Washington.
Sometimes you can take for granted the number of goals he scores. Oshie said that he saw the number of goals and it was a while ago that I actually saw the exact number.
"That's quite a number of goals. Many players have never played that many games. It doesn't get old. These milestones are truly special. I joke with him about telling my grandkids that I played for 'The Great 8'. It's an honor being here as he passes these legends of the game.