Ovechkin becomes 20th ever to net 600 goals

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin has become the 20th player in NHL history to reach 600 career goals, further cementing his status as one of the league’s all-time best offensive talents.

Ovechkin’s goal was unassisted and came 3:53 into the second period against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night. It’s also his 42nd goal this season, which leads the NHL. He scored No. 600 in his 990th career game.

At 32 years old, Ovechkin is the third-youngest player in NHL history to reach 600 goals. Only Hockey Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky (894 goals) and Mario Lemieux (690) did it sooner.

Ovechkin is also the sixth player in NHL history to score 600 career goals with one franchise, joining Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman, Lemieux, Joe Sakic and Bobby Hull.

Ovechkin was drafted first overall by Washington in 2004. Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, no one has come close to Ovechkin’s goal totals, as he has nearly 200 more tallies than the next highest scorer, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins (404). Ovechkin has scored over 50 goals seven times and over 40 goals nine times.

“I just have to put the puck in and do my job,” said Ovechkin, after scoring his 40th goal at the Stadium Series game in Annapolis on March 3. “Forty is nice, but 50 is better.”

The significant factors in Ovechkin’s goal-scoring prowess are his shot volume and where he takes them. He’s ninth all-time in the NHL for shots on goal, and has led the NHL in shots on goal in 10 of his 12 seasons. Many of those shots were taken from what’s been known as “The Ovi Spot” on the ice: The circle to the goalie’s right, where Ovechkin sets up camp. He scored 119 of his 297 goals since 2011-12 from that spot.

Ovechkin has led the league in power-play goals six times, and is 10th in NHL history for goals scored with the man advantage.

Ovechkin has won the Rocket Richard Trophy for most goals six times (2008, 2009, 2012-16) and the Art Ross for most points once in 2008. He’s a three-time Hart Trophy winner for league MVP and a three-time recipient of the Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player, as voted on by the NHLPA. Ovechkin also won the Calder Trophy in 2006 for rookie of the year, scoring 52 goals.

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