Ovechkin moves into 2nd on NHL goals list, Caps beat Jets

Dec 23, 2022, 4:50 AM | Updated: 7:36 pm
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates after his goal with defenseman Dmitry Or...

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates after his goal with defenseman Dmitry Orlov (9) and left wing Conor Sheary (73) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Washington. It was Ovechkin's 802nd NHL goal. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

              Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates after his goal with defenseman Dmitry Orlov (9) and left wing Conor Sheary (73) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Washington. It was Ovechkin's 802nd NHL goal. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, center, poses with his children Sergei, left, and Ilya, right, and the pucks he scored goals 801 and 802 after an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates his goal with defenseman Dmitry Orlov (9) and left wing Conor Sheary (73) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Washington. It was Ovechkin's 802nd NHL goal. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Winnipeg Jets goaltender David Rittich (33) stops a shot by Washington Capitals left wing Sonny Milano (15) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Washington. This was Ovechkin's 801st NHL goal. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
            
              Washington Capitals left wing Sonny Milano (15) celebrates after his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored his 801st and 802nd goals to pass Gordie Howe for second on the NHL career list, and the Washington Capitals beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 Friday night to extend their winning streak to four.

Ovechkin scored into an empty net with a minute left in the third period to set off a wild celebration by teammates and a standing ovation from the crowd, which chanted “Ovi! Ovi!” Washington’s longtime captain scored in the first period to match Howe’s mark.

He’s now 92 back of tying Wayne Gretzky’s record.

“It’s nice to get it done at home, in front of our house, family, our friends — obviously fans,” Ovechkin said. “It’s a big thing.”

With Ovechkin now in sole possession of second place, the Capitals go into the break in a playoff spot and rolling but also hurting after losing another key player to injury.

Top defenseman John Carlson took a puck to the right side of his face on a shot from former teammate Brenden Dillon during the second period and skated off quickly, leaving a pool of blood on the ice. He did not return, and coach Peter Laviolette said Carlson was taken to a hospital for precautionary evaluation.

“Seeing Johnny go down in the third, early there, I think that was really tough for us all to see just because he’s certainly one of our leaders and someone we all look up to,” goaltender Charlie Lindgren said. “It’s never fun to see a guy go down like that. It was not good to see.”

Washington recently lost energetic forward T.J. Oshie to an upper-body injury and has been without center Nicklas Backstrom and winger Tom Wilson all season.

But Ovechkin and Co. have found a groove, winning nine of their last 10 games. This victory also included goals by Sonny Milano and Nic Dowd and 25 saves from Lindgren.

Ovechkin had an assist on Milano’s fifth goal of the season. It’s his 409th career multipoint game, passing Paul Coffey for 12th-most in NHL history.

Jets players all shook Ovechkin’s hand after the final horn to congratulate him. Coach Rick Bowness was in attendance for another memorable moment nearly 17 years after being behind the Phoenix Coyotes bench when Ovechkin scored arguably his best goal after falling on his back.

“You know he’s going to score goals,” Bowness said. “Shows you his perseverance, his character, his work ethic. Good for him. Really, congratulations. He deserves that.”

Winnipeg’s David Rittich became the 166th goaltender Ovechkin has scored on, and he finished with 23 saves in a game heavily tilted toward his end of the ice. Kevin Stenlund scored midway through the third period, and the Jets lost their second in a row.

Losing three of four did not stop the Jets from wanting to pay tribute to Ovechkin.

“He’s done so much for this league,” forward Adam Lowry said. “He’s a great personality and it’s just a sign of respect to really let him know we appreciate all he’s done for the league, all he’s done for us as players. The milestone, it’s an incredible accomplishment.”

NOTES: Capitals defenseman Erik Gustafsson extended his point streak to four games. … The Jets scratched forward Cole Perfetti with an undisclosed injury. Michael Eyssimont took his place in the lineup.

UP NEXT

Jets: Host Minnesota on Tuesday in each team’s first game after the Christmas break.

Capitals: Visit the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

___

Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

United States' Mikaela Shiffrin speeds down the course during an alpine ski, women's World Cup slal...
Associated Press

Shiffrin beaten in slalom, has to wait for record 86th win

SPINDLERUV MLYN, Czech Republic (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin will have to wait for at least five more weeks before tying the World Cup record for most career wins with 86. The American skier finished second in a slalom Sunday and remained one victory short of Ingemar Stenmark’s total on the all-time overall winners list among […]
1 day ago
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, left, shakes hands with Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece after Djokovic won t...
Associated Press

Djokovic beats Tsitsipas for 10th Australian Open, 22nd Slam

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic found this trip to Australia far less complicated, and far more successful, than that of a year ago. Unable to enter his best event in 2022 after being deported from the country because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19, Djokovic accomplished all he could have wanted in his return: […]
1 day ago
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher, left, taunts Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras after Zebr...
Associated Press

Zegras scores in OT, Ducks beat Coyotes for 3rd win a row

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Trevor Zegras scored at 3:34 of overtime and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Saturday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season. John Klingberg stole the puck from Matias Maccelli in the offensive zone and found Zegras in the slot for a wrist shot for […]
1 day ago
Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) and Cody Ceci (5) celebrate a goal against the Chicago Blackha...
Associated Press

Oilers head into All-Star break with win over Blackhawks

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Tyson Barrie scored twice, Connor McDavid had his NHL-best 41st goal and the Edmonton Oilers headed into their All-Star break with a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had a goal and two assists, and Evander Kane and Ryan McLeod also […]
1 day ago
Seattle Kraken center Ryan Donato, rear, watches as the puck rests behind Columbus Blue Jackets goa...
Associated Press

Wennberg scores against former team, Kraken top Blue Jackets

SEATTLE (AP) — Alex Wennberg scored midway through the second period against his former team to help the Seattle Kraken beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Saturday night. Wennberg, who was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the first round in 2013, had his 10th goal of the season in his 600th career game. […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers forward Jera...
Associated Press

Achiuwa leads Raptors to 123-105 win over Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Precious Achiuwa scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in place of the injured OG Anunoby to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 123-105 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points and Gary Trent Jr. added 19 against his former team for the Raptors, […]
1 day ago
Ovechkin moves into 2nd on NHL goals list, Caps beat Jets