Alex Ovechkin chasing history as Capitals face Red Wings

Alex Ovechkin will look to climb another notch on the NHL’s all-time scoring list when the Washington Capitals visit the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

The 36-year-old forward will surpass Brett Hull for fourth on the all-time goals list the next time he scores. Ovechkin tied Hull with his 741st career goal on Monday when the Capitals skated to a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

“It’s nice to be in that company and it’s a pretty big number,” he said. “I just move on. Obviously it’s nice to be tied, but I still have a couple of games left.”

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Ovechkin on a torrid pace

Ovechkin certainly shows no signs of slowing down. He’s already piled up a league-high 11 goals this season entering play on Wednesday. He’s on pace for 75 goals at his current scoring rate. While that’s unlikely, a 50 goal season seems in the cards for the Great 8.

“Alex, another strong game from him (Monday),” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. “He just had a lot going on. He had a lot of pucks around his stick and at the net. He could have gotten another one or two (Monday) for sure. … He got one to go, he made some nice plays, too, moving pucks to other people for opportunities to score as well.”

Ovechkin is now 25 goals from tying Jaromir Jagr (766) for third on the list. He needs 60 to tie Gordie Howe (801) for second overall and 153 from pulling even with the Great One, Wayne Gretzky (894).

“It’s fun to watch,” Hull said of Ovechkin. “I wouldn’t say he’s one of a kind until he possibly passes Wayne [Gretzky]. Then he can be one of a kind. But he is part of a group of guys that could score. Just to keep doing it like he is, you have to tip your hat to him. He’s a great player.”

Washington Capitals came to terms on a five-year, $47.5 million contract extension with Ovechkin in the offseason.

Capitals take on Red Wings

Ovechkin Gretzky goal chase
Oct 13, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) kneels on the ice during warmups prior to the Capitals’ game against the New York Rangers at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington snapped a three-game losing streak with its victory over the Sabres.

“The most important thing right now is team wins,” forward Tom Wilson said. “We’ve got some adversity going and we’re rallying together and trying to collect the wins.”

The Red Wings have been doing that lately, as they carry a three-game winning streak into the contest. They started the streak with an overtime triumph in Buffalo, then collected victories in the first two contests of their current four-game homestand. They defeated Vegas on Sunday and Edmonton on Tuesday.

Detroit handed the Oilers just their second loss of the season. Vladislav Namestnikov scored two goals and Dylan Larkin had an unassisted tally in the 4-2 win. Moritz Seider scored his second career goal with an empty-netter.

Namestnikov, who skates on the team’s third line, has seven goals this season.

“I thought he played really well,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “The goals are part of it, but I thought his whole game was really good. We need production throughout the lineup. It’s critically important.”

The game on Thursday begins a stretch for the Capitals in which they play six of seven on the road. In their last two road games, Washington dropped one-goal decisions to Tampa Bay and Florida.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report