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Alex Ovechkin nets point No. 1,000 in grand fashion

Alex Ovechkin nets point No. 1,000 in grand fashion

Alex Ovechkin earned his 1,000th point in the most fitting way imaginable for one of hockey's great showmen.

It came on a scintillating toe-drag and shot just 35 seconds into Wednesday's game. At home in front of his mom, dad, brother, wife and adoring fans. On national television. With the hated Penguins in town.

And, of course, with a little help from Nicklas Backstrom.

“I don’t know how many times he has assist me on my goals,” Ovechkin said of his longtime setup man. “He’s the guy who I enjoy playing with and we understand each other well. Good chemistry together since Day One.”

That chemistry was once again on display as Backstrom set up both of Ovechkin’s goals in a commanding 5-2 Caps' victory. Dating to Backstrom’s rookie season, the soft-spoken Swede has assisted on 204 of 448 goals, or almost 46 percent of Ovechkin’s goals.  

“You can attach Backy’s name to so many of Ovi’s goals,” Coach Barry Trotz said, “that it was only fitting that his name would be there.”

And it was—with a quickness.

RELATED: Alex Ovechkin reaches yet another milestone with his 1,000th point

Ovechkin ended any suspense before everyone had settled into their seats with a goal that will no doubt end up on his all-time highlight reel. After catching Backstrom’s pass, the Caps’ captain darted into the zone, made a strong move to the inside, toe-dragged the Penguins’ best defenseman, Kris Letang, and then ripped a shot past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

“Yeah, I kind of think about it before the game, everybody’s here and it will be nice to get 1,000th point at home,” Ovechkin said. “Pretty excited, pretty happy. It’s a big moment for organization, for myself and for my teammates.”

Ovechkin downplayed the significance of hitting a thousand on a goal rather an assist.

“To be honest with you, I don’t care,” he said. “Point is a point and obviously goal is a goal. I’ll take it and move forward.”

Added Backstrom: “Every night he plays hard, so nothing new. He wants to score goals, and he wants to help the team as much as he can. It wasn’t really any surprises there, but the only thing that was a little surprising was maybe 35 seconds. That’s all it took. But that’s typical for a guy like him, though.”

Trotz said the look on Ovechkin’s face as he raced past the bench on that first shift let him know something special was about to happen.

“That was a great start for him and for us,” Trotz said. “He sort of had that look in his eye once he touched the puck that something good was going to happen.”

“Real happy for him,” Trotz continued. “I know the guys are thrilled for him. Obviously, a little history. I said to him in Montreal, I said that, 'It was really, really sort of cool that you got the Maurice Richard, tied the record in Montreal, but I think it's only fitting that you get the 1,000th point here for our fans.' So, he did it, and it didn't take much time.”

It was also appropriate that Ovechkin achieved the milestone as the Capitals’ collective game—as well as his own—are on the ascent.

Washington has won a season-high seven games in a row and eight of their last 10 (8-1-1). Ovechkin, meanwhile, netted goals No. 20 and 21 and is now tied for third with Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews. Going back 15 games, the 31-year-old sniper has nine goals and seven assists in that span.

Even on a night that was all about him, Ovechkin preferred to talk about the roll his team finds itself on.

“I think you can see how we play 5-on-5, obviously penalty kill do an unbelievable job and [Braden Holtby is] unstoppable right now,” he said. “He reminds me how he played last year.”

As for the winning streak, Ovechkin acknowledged that it’s nice. But he quickly pointed out this season is all about timing.

“We’re winning,” he said, “but I hope the best hockey’s going to be a little bit later.”

MORE CAPITALS: Putting Ovechkin's 1,000th point in perspective

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Carolina goalie jokingly calls for rule change to slow down Alex Ovehckin

Carolina goalie jokingly calls for rule change to slow down Alex Ovehckin

Alex Ovechkin has made a career out of victimizing goalies and now one of them is fighting back.

Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack took to Twitter Wednesday after Ovechkin's first period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins and called for a rule change to be made. Referencing the trapezoid rule which was created specifically because of the stickhandling abilities of legendary goalie Martin Brodeur, Lack proposed a similar rule for Ovechkin that would create an "Ovizoid Zone."

Lack has only faced Ovechkin three times, but he has allowed a goal to the Great 8 in all three games. A new rule might just be the only way to keep Ovechkin off the board.

RELATED: Putting Ovechkin's 1,000th point in perspective

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Putting Alex Ovechkin's 1,000th point in historical perspective

Putting Alex Ovechkin's 1,000th point in historical perspective

Alex Ovechkin earned his 1,000th career point on Wednesday with a goal just 35 seconds into the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

So what does that mean? OK, 1,000 is a nice, round number, but didn't Wayne Gretzky get 2,857 points?

Here are some numbers to help you wrap your head around what this accomplishment means:

  • Ovechkin is now one of 84 players in NHL history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Eighty-four sounds like a lot, but it's not when you consider the NHL is celebrating its centennial this season.
  • Wednesday's game was the 880th of Ovechkin's career. There are currently just six active players with more points than Ovechkin and he was able to reach 1,000 points faster than all but one of them. Only Jaromir Jagr reached that mark faster as his came in just 763 career games. Overall, Ovechkin is the 24th fastest player to 1,000.
  • Ovechkin's 545 career goals are the second-most for a player's first 1,000 points ever, behind only Brett Hull's 560.
  • Ovechkin is just one of 37 players to reach 1,000 points with one franchise.

RELATED: LATEST NHL POWER RANKINGS

In addition to 1,000 points, Ovechkin's goal was the 545th of his career.

That pulls him ahead of Maurice "Rocket" Richard for 29th all-time in NHL goals. That means Ovechkin now has more goals than the player for which the NHL season goal-scoring title is named after.

Oh, and by the way, Ovechkin is just 31 years old. There are plenty more milestones to come before he hangs up the skates.