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Alex Ovechkin moves past Gordie Howe as Caps beat Jets

Dec 23, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Winnipeg Jets in the first period at Capital One Arena. It was Ovechkin's 801st career goal, moving him into second place all-time in career NHL goals, tying the late Gordie Howe. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Ovechkin passed Gordie Howe for second on the NHL’s all-time goals list and the Washington Capitals defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 on Friday in Washington.

Ovechkin scored his 801st career goal, tying Howe, in the first period to give Washington a 1-0 lead.

Ovechkin snapped a wrist shot between the legs of Jets goalie David Rittich for the record-tying marker.

He then scored his 802nd career goal, passing Howe, with an empty-netter with a minute remaining in the third period.

Ovechkin now has his sights set on Wayne Gretzky’s 894 goals, which still stand as the gold standard for career goals in the league.

Ovechkin is signed with Washington through the 2025-26 season. Earlier this month at the NHL Board of Governor meetings, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said he expects Ovechkin to play through at least the end of that contract in Washington and is committed to fielding a winning team around the Capitals’ captain in his chase for the all-time goal-scoring record.

Sonny Milano and Nic Dowd also scored for Washington, while Charlie Lindgren made 25 saves for Washington in the victory.

It was Lindgren’s 10th win of the season. A career backup, Lindgren has seized the lion’s share of the starts for Washington this season and has a career-high 17 appearances this season for the Capitals.

Rittich made 23 saves in the loss while Kevin Stenlund scored for Winnipeg.

Milano gave Washington a 2-0 lead at 12:46 of the second period, finishing off a sharp pass from Conor Sheary.

It was Milano’s fifth goal of the season. Milano now has 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) in 22 games for Washington after going unsigned in the offseason, signing a tryout contract with the Calgary Flames, getting released, and then signing with Washington in mid-October after the season started.

Dowd made it 3-0 at 3:49 of the third period, finishing off a give-and-go passing play with Garnet Hathaway for his eighth goal of the season.

Stenlund made it 3-1 when he snapped Lindgren’s shutout bid at 9:59 of the third period.

Ovechkin’s empty netter created the 4-1 final score.

–Field Level Media