Forgive Alex Ovechkin for not taking too much time to relish in reaching a personal milestone earlier this week, but he’s focused on the Capitals’ overall aspirations.
Ovechkin recorded his 700th career NHL point with a power play goal in Washington’s 3-2 win over the Hurricanes on Thursday and added an assist for point No. 701 later in that contest. But with the Capitals sitting 12th in the Eastern Conference, seven points out of a playoff spot, he’s more concerned about trying to help the team reach the postseason.
“It was hard work and sometimes it’s just a number when you think about it,” Ovechkin said Friday. “It’s huge number and I’m pretty happy but if it was situation where … we were in the playoffs 100 percent and I didn’t have the number I would be more happy than I am right now.”
Ovechkin reached the plateau on his 579th career game, third-fastest among active players. The five active players to reach 700 career points in the fewest games: Teemu Selanne (541), Jaromir Jagr (557), Ovechkin (579), Dany Heatley (685) and Ilya Kovalchuk (700).
He’s the third player to record the milestone as a Capital, joining Peter Bondra and Mike Gartner.
“I’m happy for him,” Nicklas Backstrom said. “It’s a great achievement and as you’ve seen the last seven, eight years with him here it’s been incredible.”