WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin passed Marcel Dionne for fifth on the NHL goals list when the forward scored Nos. 731 and 732 in the Washington Capitals season opener against the New York Rangers at Capital One Arena on Wednesday.
Ovechkin tied Dionne when he scored a power-play goal at 2:37 of the third period to give Washington a 4-0 lead. He scored shorthanded at 12:01 to make it 5-1 and pass Dionne.
The 36-year-old has scored 732 goals in 1,197 regular-season games during 17 seasons with Washington, which selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft. Dionne, a 1992 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, scored 731 goals in 1,348 games over 18 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers before retiring in 1989.
“Each player that gets to that level has got certain qualities and Ovi is a pure, pure goal scorer,” Dionne said last season. “He’s probably scored the top 25 or top 50 goals of all time. He’s scored goals falling down. … He might not score for two or three games and then he goes on a rampage.”
The power-play goal was Ovechkin’s 270th in the NHL, moving him within four of Dave Andreychuk‘s record.
Ovechkin played in the Capitals season opener after being a game-time decision because of a lower-body injury he sustained in Washington’s preseason finale against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. Ovechkin led the Capitals with 24 goals in 45 games last season despite missing an NHL career-high 11 games, including four while in NHL COVID-19 protocol and seven with a groin injury.
Ovechkin passed Mike Gartner for seventh on the goals list by scoring his 709th against the Rangers on Feb. 4 and passed Phil Esposito for sixth by scoring his 718th against the New York Islanders on March 16.
Ovechkin can climb to third with 37 goals this season. Next on the list after Dionne is Brett Hull in fourth with 741. Jaromir Jagr is third with 766 goals followed by Gordie Howe in second with 801 and Wayne Gretzky in first with 894.