The Washington Capitals forward is now the top Russian goal scorer in the NHL, a record previously held by Sergei Fedorov.
On Thursday, the star forward scored his 484th goal 7:01 into the third period against the Dallas Stars at the Verizon Center. However, the Ovechkin had to wait for quite a while before surpassing the Russian great after going four games without scoring a goal ever since he had tied Fedorov with 483 goals on November 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Now, Ovechkin has 484 goals to his name in 777 NHL appearances, the most any player has scored since he first arrived in North America back in 2005.
Fedorov on the other hand, has 483 goals in 1,248 during an illustrious career that was spanned at franchises like the Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Duck, Columbus Blue Jackets and Capitals.
The feat is quite a memorable one for Ovechkin, who like many Russians, grew up with Fedorov being his hero and inspiration to make it big in the NHL. Between 2008 and 2009, Ovechkin also had the honor of playing alongside his childhood hero and revealed that he kept a Sergeo Fedorov shirt while growing up.
“It was long time ago,” Ovechkin said. “Back then, if you have that kind of T-shirt or something from NHL, it’s huge. Obviously, I was a fan of all Russian players. He was one of the top guys.”
Ovechkin had always held the Russian legend in high regard and the legend himself shares the same kind of sentiment with Fedorov congratulating the Russian forward on surpassing his achievement in the NHL.
“I would like to congratulate Alex on this achievement,” Fedorov said in a statement released by the Capitals. “What he has accomplished thus far in his career has been nothing short of remarkable. I had a great opportunity to play with Alex in Washington and have seen first-hand the respect, passion and enthusiasm he has not only for the game of hockey but for his country as well.”
Fedorov played 70 games for Washington after he was acquired in a trade from the Blue Jackets in 2008. He would retire from the NHL following the conclusion of the 2009-09 NHL season.
Ovechkin has already scored nine goals for his team this season and was also the player who had provided the assist for Fedorov’s last NHL goal which came back in April 2009 against the Atlanta Thrashers.
Currently, Ovechkin holds the record for most goals for his team and is just 16 goals shy of becoming the 43rd player in the league’s history to score 500 goals. The only active player closer than the Russian to accomplish this feat is Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa who has scored 589 goals in 1,188 games.
If he manages to score his 500th goal this season, Ovechkin will become the fifth fastest player to do so.
Wayne Gretzky (575 games), Mario Lemieux (605), Mike Bossy (647) and Brett Hull (693) are the only players to score 500 goals in fewer than 700 games.