Ovechkin ties Hull with NHL goal No. 741 for Capitals

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WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin tied Brett Hull for fourth in NHL goals when the forward scored No. 741 for the Washington Capitals against the Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena on Monday.

Ovechkin scored at 8:55 of the second period to give Washington a 3-1 lead.

Ovechkin has played 1,209 regular-season games during 17 seasons with Washington, which selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft. Hull played 1,269 regular-season games in 19 NHL seasons with the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Coyotes before retiring in 2005.

“It’s fun to watch,” Hull said of Ovechkin. “I wouldn’t say he’s one of a kind until he possibly passes Wayne [Gretzky]. Then he can be one of a kind. But he is part of a group of guys that could score. Just to keep doing it like he is, you have to tip your hat to him. He’s a great player.”

Ovechkin leads the NHL with 11 goals in 12 games this season. He passed Marcel Dionne for fifth in NHL goals by scoring No. 731 and No. 732 in a 5-1 season-opening win against the New York Rangers on Oct. 13.

Ovechkin needs to score 37 goals this season to pass Jaromir Jagr (766) for third in NHL history, behind Gordie Howe (801) and Gretzky, who is first with 894.

Gretzky said again before this season that he believes Ovechkin can break his record.

“First of all, he’s definitely got a legitimate shot,” said Gretzky, a studio analyst for the “NHL on TNT.” “… He’s got a great opportunity. He’s on a good team. He plays with really good centermen. He enjoys playing and loves playing in Washington. So he just has to be himself, go out there and play hard like he does every night.”

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