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Ovechkin resumes tracking NHL goal record with Capitals

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Arlington, Virginia — Alex OvechkinHis technique seemed familiar as he settled into an open space on the left side of the penalty area, received a backheel pass, and sent the ball over the goalkeeper and inside the far post with his left foot.

After watching a video of Ovechkin’s offseason football exploits online, Washington Capitals coach Peter LaViolette said, “He was the archetypal Alex who scored.”

“Perhaps we should count,” said LaViolette.

For Ovechkin, he played on a one-match deal with FC Dynamo Moscow, the Russian Premier League team that his father Mikhail played for before injury ended his career, on 25 June in Moscow. He scored in a friendly against FC Amcar. “A dream come true.” But apparently, this goal doesn’t count in Ovechkin’s NHL goals total, which still stands at 780.

The 37-year-old left starts his 18th NHL season when Washington hosts the Boston Bruins at Capital One Arena Wednesday (7 PM ET, TNT, SN NOW). Ovechkin scored 7 goals with the Detroit Red Wings (1946-1971) during his 25 seasons with the 786 he broke Howe’s NHL record with one team. After that, he scored 15 more goals. He returned to the league in 1979-80 with the Hartford Whalers.

But Ovechkin isn’t focused on his record on the eve of next season opener.

“You just want to go to the game,” he said. “Every point is very important to us right now. We try to win every game. Our goal is to make (the Stanley Cup Playoffs) and start there.”

Ovechkin admitted that his first 17 seasons with the Capitals, which made him the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, flew by.

“I still can’t believe it,” he said. “The early The time has passed”

Video: Can Alex Ovechkin Pass Wayne Gretzky in goal?

Ovechkin’s excitement for opening night continues unabated. Similar to his NHL debut in the 2005-06 season opener against the Columbus Blues against the Jackets, Ovechkin scored his two goals in last season’s opener against the New York Rangers, tying his NHL record for ninth time. started his season with his 50th goal.

In the process, Ovechkin climbed from 6th to 3rd on the NHL goal list, overtaking Marcel Dionne (731 goals), Brett Hull (741 goals) and Jaromir Jaegle (766 goals). His 90 points (50 goals, 40 assists) last season was the most since his 109 points in 2009-10.

“I felt he did a good job of keeping himself fit and motivated all year long” center Evgeny Kuznetsov Said. “He’s chasing something pretty big, even if he doesn’t talk about it. Nobody mentions it, but it’s a big thing for him, and that’s a big motivation.”

We’ve never discussed Ovechkin’s pursuit of Howe and Gretzky with him, but every player in the Capitals’ locker room knows the history he’s after. connor brown Becomes sub in his Washington debut for injured Tom Wilson (Anterior cruciate ligament rupture in left knee) Topline with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. He’s trying to get his head around skating on the opposite wing from someone approaching 800 goals.

“I thought about it,” said Brown, who was acquired in a July 13 trade with the Ottawa Senators. .”

A frequent starter, Ovechkin scored 10 goals in the first 10 games last season, making it the third time in five seasons he has scored 10 goals in the first 11 games.

Ovechkin said of the key to his fast start, “When you get an opportunity, you just need to take advantage of it.” “If things don’t go your way, you have to keep working.”

Video: Alex Ovechkin at number 10 on the NHL Network countdown

Capitals needed Ovechkin after strong start at center last season Niklas Backstrom Missed the first 28 games while recovering from a left hip injury. Ovechkin scored 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) and helped Washington go 17-5-6 in 28 games.

With Backstrom (recovering from hip resurfacing surgery) and Wilson looking to start this season, the Capitals need Ovechkin to step up his game again, scoring 30 points in his last 28 games. Kuznetsov, who scored 9 goals and 21 assists, is also needed. Season.

“Yes, we are responsible, but many players have to do the same,” Ovechkin said. “We have new people coming into our organization and they have to step up as well.”

Washington added Brown, Dylan Stromsigned a one-year, $3.5 million deal on July 14 to fill the void between Backstrom and Wilson’s absence.

“They’ve been pretty consistent with their game for a long time,” LaViolette said. “‘O’ has scored a lot of goals every year, not just last year. He scores big goals every year.”

In addition to scoring 50 goals for the ninth time last season (and becoming the oldest NHL player to do so), Ovechkin is the seventh player in NHL history to score 20 goals in 17 consecutive seasons. , coming close to one of Mike Gartner’s records for the 16th time. He recorded a 30-goal season, tying Gretzky’s NHL record with his 40-goal season for his 12th.

Ovechkin brings scoring consistency to “My Linemate and the Situation There.”

“Sometimes you get lucky,” he said. “A lot of things have to go your way.”

When it comes to scoring goals, whether it’s on the ice or on the football pitch, things often go Ovechkin’s way. He appreciates FC Dynamo’s goals in Moscow coming from the left flank, recalling that so far he has scored many of his NHL goals from the left circle.

“It was a great moment,” Ovechkin said. “My family enjoyed it, so many fans enjoyed it, and it was the highlight of the night.