Alex Ovechkin doesn’t need any extra incentive when facing Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rival Penguins.
But he’ll have some on Wednesday night when the Capitals face the Penguins, anyway.
With one more point, Ovechkin will join the 1,000 point club. He’ll also become just the fourth Russian player to achieve the feat, joining Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Mogilny and Alexei Kovalev.
“It’s small but it’s [a] very legendary club,” Ovechkin said after the morning skate. “I get lucky to play with Fedorov for a couple years [in Washington] and I know him as a person. It’ll be nice to be with him, in the same company.”
Ovechkin added that he feels fortunate to get the opportunity to add a comma to his career point total at Verizon Center, the building where his NHL journey began 12 years ago.
“It’s a real big number,” he said. “Obviously it’s nice to get [the chance] at home, in front of fans, my family. It’s going to be a big moment.”
Ovechkin also gave a nod to his friends and family in Russia—even the ones who typically root for Malkin and the Penguins.
“All my friends texted me and said they are going to watch the game back at home,” Ovechkin said.
“I have friends who are cheering for Penguins and they [are] going to be cheering for me right now. It’s going to be a great day for fans and for us. It’s going to be a fun night to play.”
The 31-year-old did, however, downplay the significance of getting the chance against his team’s biggest rival, which, by the way, is just as hot as the Caps right now, having won five games in a row and 13 of 16 (13-1-2).
“It doesn’t matter which team we’re going to play when get those kinds of milestones,” Ovi said. “I just want to get it and move forward.”
On Monday night, Ovechkin told reporters in Montreal “it means I’m getting older” after a three-point night landed him on the doorstep of No. 1,000. On Wednesday, he set the record straight regarding how he’s actually feeling.
“I don’t feel old,” he said with a grin. “I just said, when you get a 1,000 points it [means] you’ve been in the league a long time. I’m still young.”