Sunday, November 27, 2022

Alex Ovechkin passes Jaromir Jagr for third on NHL goals list

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“I’m happy being the first European player all of time on goals,” Ovechkin stated. “It’s pretty cool. Pass all those names, legends — it’s history. It’s going to be forever. Hope somebody going to break my record, and we will see.”

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Ovechkin’s milestone purpose got here in opposition to a Metropolitan Division rival that had former Capitals coach Barry Trotz behind the bench and ex-Washington goalie Semyon Varlamov between the pipes. Right off a faceoff received by Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ovechkin ripped a shot previous Varlamov at 15:02 of the third interval to place the Capitals forward 3-2. A bunch hug shaped across the Capitals’ captain as the gang gave Ovechkin a standing ovation and chanted: “Ovi! Ovi!”

“I have pretty good chances previous games,” Ovechkin stated. “Finally [Kuznetsov] win a good faceoff right on my stick. To score on a very good friend Varly, it’s nice, too.”

It was Ovechkin’s thirty seventh purpose of the season as he continues his pursuit of Wayne Gretzky’s NHL report of 894. Gordie Howe sits in second at 801.

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“He’s got a lot of game left in him. He’s got a lot of time, a lot of game,” Coach Peter Laviolette stated.

Ovechkin handed Jagr’s whole in 477 fewer video games. In a video shared by the NHL on social media, Jagr congratulated Ovechkin however advised him with a wink to maintain scoring — as a result of he would possibly return to the NHL in the future “and start chasing you.” Jagr turned 50 final month, however he’s nonetheless taking part in (for a group that he owns) in his hometown of Kladno, Czech Republic.

Before passing Jagr, Ovechkin surpassed Marcel Dionne (731) for fifth in October and Brett Hull (741) for fourth in November.

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“He’s obviously been a force in this league for a long time and is chasing down some pretty special players ahead of him,” Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid stated final week. “It’s fun to kind of watch from afar.”

“Obviously it’s always fun when you get a milestone and you get a win,” Ovechkin stated. “Obviously it sucks when my kids didn’t see it, my wife didn’t see it, my parents, but they’re watching at home. They’re happy, and that’s the most important thing.”

Ovechkin’s mother and father, his spouse and their two youngsters are in Russia. He has confronted backlash since his feedback final month about his house nation’s invasion of Ukraine. Ovechkin has voiced help for Russian President Vladimir Putin previously, and he stated the previous few weeks have been “tough.”

“It’s been tough, but we’re athletes and we just have to do our job and focus in on the thing what we’re doing best,” he stated. “We just play hockey and enjoy our moment.”

Ovechkin’s purpose clearly was the spotlight of the night time, however the recreation was a wild back-and-forth affair.

After Ovechkin put the Capitals forward, the Islanders’ Anders Lee tied it at 3 with the additional attacker on the ice and just below two minutes left. Neither group might finish it in additional time — Varlamov thwarted a number of nice probabilities for the Capitals — earlier than Anthony Mantha acquired the winner within the eighth spherical of the shootout. Goalie Vitek Vanecek saved the Capitals in it in the course of the tiebreaker; he and Varlamov completed with 29 saves apiece.

The Capitals went forward on a Mantha purpose within the first interval earlier than Brock Nelson tied it at 1 with a rebound purpose early within the second. The Capitals challenged for goaltender interference however had been denied. Nelson then practically gave the Islanders the lead after he beat Vanecek clear, however his shot hit each posts and bounced out.

The wacky second interval continued when Washington appeared to go forward 2-1 with six minutes left after defenseman Justin Schultz’s shot bounced off Kuznetsov and located the online. But the Islanders received an offside problem, maintaining the rating tied.

The Islanders grabbed a 2-1 lead after Josh Bailey made a pleasant play to arrange Kyle Palmieri on a backdoor feed with 2:58 left within the second. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby tied it on his first NHL purpose with 9:47 left in regulation off an odd-man rush arrange by a easy transfer from defenseman Dmitry Orlov. Jonsson-Fjallby turned the ninth Capitals rookie to attain his first NHL purpose this season.

Here’s what else to know from Tuesday’s win:

Mantha’s surge continues

Mantha continued his spectacular stretch since getting back from shoulder surgical procedure. He gave the Capitals the lead through the use of a eager eye and strong physique positioning to knock in a rebound with 7:39 left within the first. It was his second purpose in his sixth recreation again following a four-month rehab course of.

Mantha’s affect is clear as Washington continues its renaissance; Tuesday introduced its fifth win in six video games. His presence on the second line has added one other scoring menace and a bodily asset.

Eller nonetheless isolating, Vecchione up

Center Lars Eller missed the sport and continues to be isolating in Vancouver after testing optimistic for the coronavirus in the course of the Capitals’ journey there final week. It is unclear how lengthy he should isolate earlier than he can return to the United States.

With Eller unavailable, Washington known as up middle Mike Vecchione from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. Vecchione, 29, was a wholesome scratch in opposition to the Islanders. He performed two video games for the Philadelphia Flyers in the course of the 2016-17 season and has been within the AHL since. He had 12 goals and 24 assists in 43 video games for the Bears.

Winger Daniel Sprong returned to the lineup after being a wholesome scratch in eight of the Capitals’ earlier 9 video games. He had a couple of high-danger alternatives early however couldn’t mild the purpose lamp.

Sprong’s slot in Washington continues to be a query forward of Monday’s commerce deadline. General Manager Brian MacLellan stated early this month that he thought Sprong had confirmed glimpses of strong play and praised his scoring capability however famous that his 200-foot recreation nonetheless wants work.

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