Alex Ovechkin entered Monday’s showdown against the Winnipeg Jets needing just two goals to hit the 600-mark for his career.
From the opening faceoff it was pretty clear that he was determined to make it happen.
It took him 35 minutes to get those two goals.
After scoring a power play goal in the first period (on one of his eight shot attempts in the period), Ovechkin tallied career goal No. 600 (and his league leading 42nd of the season) in the second period to become just the 20th player in NHL history to reach the milestone.
[The 2018 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 11 on the networks of NBC]
He also did it faster than all but three players, becoming just the fourth player in NHL history to do it under 1,000 games.
Monday’s game was the 990th game of Ovechkin’s career. Wayne Gretzky (717 games), Mario Lemieux (718), and Bret Hull (900) are the only others. The main difference between those three and Ovechkin is they played the bulk of their careers in a significantly higher scoring era. Ovechkin has played his entire career in one of the lowest scoring eras in NHL history.
Ovechkin entered Monday’s game tied with Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine for the league lead in goals.
With those two Ovechin reclaimed sole possession of first place and is back on track for what could be yet another goal-scoring crown and perhaps 50-goal season.
Given the era he has played in, how dominant he has been, and the overall numbers he has put up Ovechkin is clearly one of the absolute best goal scorers to ever play in the NHL. Maybe even the best.