700 goals

Hockey at Home: Gretzky, Ovechkin talk goals record and more

Whenever you can get Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Gretzky chatting about the all-time goals record in the same place, you go for it. Well … as long as it’s safe.

With social distancing of the utmost importance, we’ll have to settle for a lengthy digital conversation between Gretzky, Ovechkin, and NBC Sports’ Kathryn Tappen.

The three engaged in a lengthy discussion, covering topics such as:

  • Ovechkin chasing Gretzky’s 894 goals record, and reaching 700+ (now 706) so far. Gretzky said he’s rooting for Ovechkin to break the goals record “as hard as anybody.” Gretzky hopes that he’ll embrace Ovechkin’s chase with the same dignity that Gordie Howe shared for Gretzky’s pursuits.
  • They had some fun talking about trading sticks for their collections. Ovechkin apparently has about 100.
  • Gretzky discusses how hungry Ovechkin was for tips on leadership when the two first got their real chance to chat. “The Great One” could tell that Ovechkin would win a Stanley Cup after that conversation — which, of course, Ovechkin did.

Enjoy some #HockeyatHome thanks to the video above this post’s headline.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Alex Ovechkin scores 700th goal with a blast

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He did it. Alex Ovechkin scored his 700th career goal on Saturday as the Capitals faced the Devils.

Ovechkin scored his historic goal from the opposite faceoff circle from his typical “office.” It was a significant goal, tying Washington 2-2 with New Jersey a few minutes into the third period. Ovechkin reaching his 700th goal with such gusto really adds to the experience.

(Watch video of Ovechkin scoring his 700th goal in the video above.)

Ovechkin makes history with 700th goal

It marks his second goal in as many games after sitting at 698 goals for five agonizing contests. Well, they were agonizing for those anxiously awaiting number 700. Ovechkin’s response was basically “Whatever.” Ovechkin scored 30 of his 700 career goals against the Devils.

Ovechkin joins an illustrious group including Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708). Ovechkin became the second player to score 700+ goals with a single team, as Howe scored 786 with the Red Wings before continuing a hockey journey that eventually included playing alongside his sons.

Jagr was the most recent player to reach 700 on March 1, 2014.

Ovechkin scored goal No. 699 in an OT loss to the Canadiens after five straight games without a point. No. 8 controlled a rolling puck after Nicklas Backstrom won a faceoff cleanly in the offensive zone, then fired a wrist shot past Carey Price.

Ovechkin, 34, became the second youngest and fastest player (1144 games) to score 700 goals, trailing Gretzky who was 29 years old (886 games) when he scored his 700th in January 1991 as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

Earlier this month, Ovi also became only the second player to score 40 goals in 11 seasons, trailing Gretzky’s record of 12. Ovechkin now has 42 goals in 60 games this season, giving himself a shot at another Maurice Richard Trophy.

The Devils ended up beating the Capitals 3-2. Maybe Washington can get back on track now that Ovechkin got this 700th goal out of the way? Their struggles aren’t on Ovechkin, but the Caps are struggling as a team nonetheless. (They have to be pleased with Pittsburgh losing to the Sabres on Saturday, though.)

Ovechkin’s quest for 700th goal:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Ovechkin gets next chance at 700 goals: Monday on NBCSN

Alex Ovechkin 700 goals attempt Monday on NBCSN
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Alex Ovechkin couldn’t reach 700 goals on Saturday in Arizona, where he scored the goal. Ovechkin gets his next chance at 700 against another memorable opponent — the Vegas Golden Knights — and you can watch it on NBCSN on Monday. (Coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET.)

Ovechkin falls short against Coyotes, gets next shot at 700 on Monday

Ovechkin continues to swing hard at goals 699 and 700, but to no avail. Antti Raanta made 35 out of 36 saves to lead the Coyotes to a 3-1 win against the Capitals on Saturday. Ovechkin fired eight shots on goal against Raanta, and couldn’t beat him once.

(Raanta admitted during an on-ice postgame interview that he didn’t want to be part of that looming highlight package.)

After generating a hat trick to reach 698 goals on Feb. 4, Ovechkin hit a wall. This marks four straight goalless and pointless games for Ovechkin. Again, it’s not for a lack of trying.

As mentioned, Ovechkin fired eight SOG against the Coyotes. Before that, Ovechkin fired seven unsuccessful SOG against Colorado (Feb. 13), couldn’t find the net on six SOG while suffering a -4 rating against the Islanders (Feb. 10), and couldn’t connect despite two SOG vs. the Flyers (Feb. 8).

Monday sets the stage for an interesting opportunity, though. Ovechkin and the Capitals won their first-ever Stanley Cup against Vegas, and he can reach the 700 milestone with two goals. Ovechkin can torment Marc-Andre Fleury at times, so don’t be shocked if he hits 700 on Monday.

Ovechkin’s quest for 700:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.