Alex Ovechkin: Sixth Fastest Player to Reach 400 Goals


Photo credit: Gregg Forwerck

Three thousand, sixty-four days after getting drafted at PNC Arena way back in 2004, Alex Ovechkin has scored his 400th career goal at the very same place, recording an empty-net goal against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night. Unlike many of his goals, this one was unspectacular. With the Caps up 3-2 in the final minute, Ovi picked up Nicklas Backstrom‘s pass from the neutral zone and popped the puck into an empty net. Ovi hardly seemed to notice it went in, calmly skating back to the bench without his trademark glove-kiss celebration. The goal was anything but ordinary though. Ovi has become the sixth-fastest player to reach the 400-goal mark, underlining the resurgence of the Great Eight under Adam Oates.

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Alex Ovechkin’s 300th Career Goal

Alex Ovechkin's 300th Career NHL Goal

The puck Ovi blasted home for his milestone marker. (Photo credit: Sergey Kocharov)

The puck Ovi blasted home for his milestone marker. (Photo credit: Sergey Kocharov)

Photo credit: Graig Abel

If there was one word to define Alex Ovechkin’s game since he landed in Washington way back in 2005, it would be overpowering. Three days after assisting on Jason Arnott’s 400th career tally, the 25-year old Russian became the sixth-youngest player in NHL history to reach 300 career goals with — what else — an unstoppable blast from the point that eluded Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer on a 5-on-3 power play. It was his 31st of the season. At 25 years and 200 days, Ovechkin reached 300 goals slower than only NHL Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky (22 years, 321 days), Mario Lemieux (23, 179), Dale Hawerchuk (24, 308), Mike Bossy (25, 60) and Steve Yzerman (25, 176). Ovechkin, who already stands third on the franchise’s goal and point scoring lists in only his sixth professional season, also notched the milestone marker in his 476th NHL game, the seventh-fewest ever. Forwards Brooks Laich and Marco Sturm were credited with the assists. Video of the goal is below the jump.

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Jason Arnott’s 400th Career Goal

Alex Semin and Alex Ovechkin pose with Jason Arnott after he scores milestone career goal #400.

The shirtless Russians who both assisted on the milestone goal pose with Jason Arnott in the lockerroom. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

As the Capitals trailed the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 with 52 seconds left, Jason Arnott scored his 400th career goal on the power play, calmly taking a rebound off of an Alex Ovechkin point shot and backhanding it home past Jhonas Enroth. Boy was that exciting! Once the milestone was announced, Arnott received a huge standing ovation from the capacity crowd at Verizon Center. He responded by standing up on the bench and waving back. As this unfolded, Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin smiled with glee and joined his teammates by banging his stick hard against the boards. What a moment! Below the jump, check out video of the milestone goal which pushed the game to OV-Time.

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