It couldn’t be scripted any better. After a power-play goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, Alex Ovechkin currently has 483 career goals, tied with former teammate Sergei Fedorov for the most goals scored by a Russian player. Now, Ovechkin could pass Fedorov if he scores in Detroit on Tuesday night, a game Fedorov will be attending because it is Hockey Hall of Fame Night at Joe Louis Arena and Fedorov is part of this year’s class.
“It’s going to be cool,” Ovechkin said. “It’s going to be something that’s a special moment for me. Obviously, it’s going to be nice to see him out there. It’s a big moment for him and for me as well going to be, if I’m going to break the record.
“You never know.”
Fedorov told reporters this was always his wish, that Ovechkin would hold off on setting the record until the Detroit game. Ovechkin would have preferred if he set the record on Saturday against Toronto, and for several minutes, it appeared he had in the third period. But a coach’s challenge by Mike Babcock disallowed Ovechkin’s goal for goaltender interference by Justin Williams.
“Obviously, it sucks,” Ovechkin said on Saturday night. “You think like, ‘Okay, you’re No. 1.’ ”
The Capitals still won the game, 3-2 in a shootout thanks to Ovechkin’s strike in the shootout, so Fedorov could see his own record fall.
“I would hug him in his uniform,” Fedorov said on Friday. “He’d be all wet and my suit would be ruined, but I wouldn’t care. I’ll put it somewhere in the closet. I’d cherish that moment.”
The two were teammates in Washington, and Ovechkin has talked about how Fedorov was a father figure on those Capitals teams in the 2007-08 and 2008-09. He’s also called Fedorov the best player he’s ever played with, though Fedorov apparently didn’t know how big a fan Ovechkin was of his.
“Last night, I was watching the game and I saw a picture of Alex when he six or seven. And it says FEDOROV 91, in black letters,” Fedorov told Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog on Sunday. “And he never told me about that particular part of his life, and wearing something like that. And we were very close in Washington.”
Ovechkin scored his 483rd career goal in 476 games fewer than Sergei Fedorov (1,248 game played). Fedorov told reporters he thinks Ovechkin could score twice that many goals. Although, he couldn’t resist taking a gentle shot at Ovechkin.
“If I get his ice time, I’d be a little bit over 500 [goals] myself,” Fedorov said. “I enjoyed playing the game [to] the fullest; defense, neutral zone, 4 on 5. Maybe I had a different approach because I could do just about anything. I can say that now, right?”