Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin further cemented his place in the hockey history books on Friday night as he scored twice against the Winnipeg Jets to fully overtake Gordie Howe for sole possession of the second-most goals scored in NHL history.
He first snapped the tying marker past Jets goaltender David Rittich and then leaped over Howe with a no-look empty netter to seal a Caps victory.
Immediately after Ovi scored career goal number 802, the Capitals stopped the game with a minute left in regulation to air a congratulatory message from Howe’s son Mark on the jumbotron.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 24, 2022
“Hi, Alex, it’s Mark Howe,” Howe started. “I’m here on behalf of Gordie Howe, the guy you just passed. From my mother Colleen and the entire Howe family we just want to congratulate you on a fantastic achievement.
“I’ve had the opportunity to watch you play so many games as a scout and you’ve been a pleasure to watch,” he continued. “You’re one of very few people in this game to me to bring a wow factor. You embrace the fans. You’re everything that my mother and father would be very proud of. I know if they were here today they would be at this hockey game. They would be the first ones to congratulate you. Congratulations – job well done. And now it’s time to set new goals for number 99.”
Mark Howe’s congratulations to Alex Ovechkin for passing his dad on the goals list
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) December 24, 2022
Mark and his brother Marty Howe attended last Monday’s Capitals-Red Wings game at Capital One Arena in support of Ovi potentially catching or passing their father, Gordie but Ovi went scoreless in that matchup. After the game, the two got further acquainted with Ovechkin and his two sons Sergei and Ilya.
The Ovechkin boys meeting the Howe boys pic.twitter.com/DlM6I2XYqC
— Al Koken (@RealSmokinAl) December 20, 2022
Inside the locker room, Ovechkin also gave signed game-used sticks to the brothers.
Hanging with the Howes!
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 20, 2022
Mark Howe has said in the past that it was important to him that he formed a personal relationship with Ovechkin as The Great Eight neared his father’s record total.
“It’s one thing to see someone speaking on a jumbotron on somebody’s behalf, but I think it means a lot more if you have met that person and you know that person,” Mark said per NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti this week.
“Records are meant to be broken, and that’s to be number two,” Mark added. “Anytime you can pass Gordie Howe in anything, I think it’s a major achievement. But I think with Alex and the way he’s spent his career, I’m sure his sights are set a little bit higher.”
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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