WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin scored his 500th goal Sunday night, becoming the 43rd player in NHL history to reach the milestone.
Ovechkin got an extended standing ovation and took a skate around the rink, acknowledging the cheering crowd that included his parents. He later drew another roar while waving to fans from the bench.
He added No. 501 midway through third, beating a defender with a sweeping deke at the top of the zone before smacking a shot past goalie Andrew Hammond for a 7-1 lead.
At 801 games, the Russian winger is the fifth-fastest player to 500 goals, trailing only Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky (575 games), Mario Lemieux (605), Mike Bossy (647) and Brett Hull (693).
"He is one of a kind," Hull told the AP in a phone interview last week. "I admire what he does because he’s a pure goal scorer."
Ovechkin has filled the net more often than anyone since he entered the league in 2005, scoring 149 more goals than the next closest player, Jarome Iginla.
Ovechkin was the first overall pick in the 2004 draft by Washington. He’s been named an All-Star in each of his 11 seasons and was voted a captain for this year’s All-Star game. He’s won three straight Richard Trophies as the league’s leading goal scorer and five overall. He’s also won three Hart Trophies as league MVP.
The 30-year-old Ovechkin is the NHL leader in career goals by a Russian-born player.
The goal against Ottawa was his 25th this season and his fourth over his last three games.