NHL superstar and Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin has become the first Russian in the leagues’ history to score 500 goals.
The previous record for the most NHL goals by a Russian player was held by Sergei Fedorov with 483 career goals.
His 500th goal took place on home ice during his 801st NHL game. Ovechkin ripped a shot over Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond during a power play.
The fans at the Verizon Center immediately rose to their feet, many of which threw hats onto the ice in celebration. The Capitals team took to the ice to congratulate Ovechkin and goalie Philipp Grubauer skated the length of the ice to join in on the celebration.
Ovechkin is the 43rd player, and the fifth-fastest, to reach the 500 goal mark. Only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy and Brett Hull, all Hall of Famers, reached the 500 mark more quickly in their careers.
— Washington Capitals (@washcaps) January 11, 2016
“It was a special moment, in front of fans … my teammates, my parents,” Ovechkin said. “It’s huge. It’s pretty cool. It’s a history moment.”
“As a player sitting on the bench, I got goosebumps,” Nicklas Backstrom said. “It’s an amazing feeling. That came up naturally for us to celebrate with him. It’s a big moment for him and the city of Washington.”