Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin never expected to achieve the "miracle" of overtaking Gordie Howe into second place in the list of the NHL's all-time record scorers.

Ovechkin scored twice in Friday's 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets to equal and then surpass Howe's tally of 801 on what was his 1,305th career outing.

The Russian now trails only Wayne Gretzky for the most goals in NHL history, the latter scoring 894 in 1,487 games.

"You never think it's going to happen when you come to the league, that you're going to beat any Gordie Howe record or Wayne Gretzky record," Ovechkin said. 

"The whole situation happening right now, it's some miracle."

Ovechkin has 22 goals for the season and has scored at least 24 in his previous 17 NHL campaigns, his personal best coming in 2007-08 when he netted 65 times.

He was given a standing ovation against the Jets and the game was temporarily stopped as a message from Howe's son Mark was played on the big screen at Capital One Arena.

"It's nice to get it done at home in front of our house, family and friends. It's a great feeling," Ovechkin added. "It's a tremendous feeling."

Gretzky's long-standing record will now be in the sights of Ovechkin, who turned 37 in September and has another three years to run on his Capitals contract.

"It's just crazy to see – it's a huge number," said Ovechkin's team-mate Dmitry Orlov. "It's a great accomplishment for his game, for his person and for his family, too

"The way he is going now, for sure it is awesome, and you hope he is going to stay healthy – another day, another milestone."

Alex Ovechkin became just the third player to score 50 goals in nine different NHL seasons after adding two for the Washington Capitals in Wednesday's 4-3 overtime defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky were the only players to previously reach that mark in nine separate campaigns.

"Obviously, it's pretty good company," Ovechkin said afterwards.

And the Capitals great took another record outright in the process, as the oldest player to score 50 goals in a season.

Ovechkin is 36, surpassing John Bucyk, who was aged 35 years and 327 days at the end of his 51-goal season in 1970-71.

It was special, too, for Ovechkin to achieve the feat at T-Mobile Arena, where he and the Capitals clinched the Stanley Cup Finals in 2018.

"Obviously, there's lots of great memories, locker room, everything, hotel," he said. "It's going stay here forever... yeah, pretty fun moments."

Ovechkin now has 780 career goals, still trailing Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801).

Alex Ovechkin’s pursuit of the NHL’s all-time record for goals scored will continue with the only franchise he has ever played for after the Washington Capitals re-signed their captain to a five-year, $47.5 million contract on Tuesday.

Ovechkin, drafted first overall by the Capitals in 2004, is the franchise leader in games played (1,197), goals (730) and points (1,320) since making his NHL debut in 2005-06. He led the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2018.

Ovechkin’s $124 million, 13-year contract was set to expire before NHL free agency officially begins on Wednesday.

''Alex is the face of our franchise and is committed to this organisation and this city,'' Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said. '

"'Alex embodies what our franchise is all about, and we're thrilled that he will continue his career in the Caps uniform for the next five years.''

Ovechkin’s 730 career goals rank sixth all-time behind Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741) and Marcel Dionne (731).

Now signed through the 2025-26 season, Ovechkin – who turns 36 in September – would have to average nearly 33 goals per season during the life of his new contract to surpass Gretzky

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.