Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin passes Teemu Selanne on all-time goals leaderboard

Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin passed Teemu Selanne on Monday to take sole ownership of 11th place on the NHL’s all-time goals leaderboard.

Ovechkin scored the first two goals of the Capitals’ game against the Carolina Hurricanes to pass Selanne, who tallied 684 goals in his 21-season NHL career.

On the first goal, No. 8 received a pass in the slot from linemate Tom Wilson and buried it past Carolina goaltender Petr Mrazek’s glove side. That was Ovechkin’s career goal No. 685, which officially put him ahead of Selanne — and Ovechkin celebrated appropriately.

Goal No. 686 came some seven minutes later during a Washington power play. The veteran sniper launched a slap shot from deep in the offensive zone just after a face off and the puck slipped directly through Mrazek’s pads and into the net for yet another tally that marches Ovechkin up the leaderboards for this season and beyond.

Ovechkin’s two goals also served as his 27th and 28th finishes of the 2019-20 NHL season,  putting him behind only Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak (35) and Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (31) as the league’s top scorers this year.

Who might Ovechkin catch next on the all-time leaderboard? The Capitals captain needs just five more goals to pass Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux (690). The 34-year-old is currently on pace to score 50 goals for the ninth time in his career; if he does reach that mark this season, he will finish the campaign with 708 career goals, tying him for seventh place all-time with Mike Gartner.

Wayne Gretzky is the NHL’s all-time leading goal-scorer (894). It’s been suggested that Ovechkin could break that seemingly unattainable record if he keeps up his incredible scoring prowess in the later years of his career; Ovechkin has said catching ‘The Great One’ is too far ahead into the future for him to think about.

“Four years, score 50 goals [each year], why not?” Ovechkin said on NHL Media Day in September.

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