Ovechkin Surpasses Messier as Capitals Down Senators

OTTAWA — Alex Ovechkin scored his 694th and 695th career goals as the Washington Capitals topped the Ottawa Senators 5-3 on Friday night.

Ovechkin’s second-period goal, his 36th of the season, tied him with Mark Messier for eighth on the NHL’s all-time goals list. He added an empty-netter with just seconds remaining to get to the eighth spot alone.

TJ Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Carl Hagelin had the other Capitals goals.

Ilya Samsonov made 25 stops for Washington (35-12-5) while Marcus Hogberg stopped 27 shots in a losing effort for Ottawa (18-24-9). Samsonov has now won 11-straight decisions.

Chris Tierney, Thomas Chabot and Artem Anisimov replied for the Senators.

Oshie opened the scoring for the Capitals by potting his 19th goal of the season just four minutes into the game. Kuznetsov banged home a loose puck seven minutes later to make it 2-0.

T.J. Oshie Washington Capitals
T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Senators got on the board after Tierney scored shorthanded at 7:15 of the second period to cut Washington’s lead to 2-1. Tierney’s 10th goal of the year was the Senators’ 12th short-handed goal of the season, which leads the NHL, and their fourth in the past three games.

Ovechkin ripped a snapshot from the right circle over the blocker of Hogberg at 10:27 of the second frame to make it 3-1.

The Capitals’ captain, who received a hearty ovation from the Ottawa crowd after his goal, is just 13 goals behind Mike Gartner for seventh on the NHL’s all-time list. His 695 tallies have come in 1,135 career games.

Barely a minute after Ovechkin’s first goal of the game the Senators answered, as Chabot unloaded a slapshot from just inside the blue line to put Ottawa within one.

Thomas Chabot Ottawa Senators
Thomas Chabot, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

After being out-shot 16-5 in the first period, the Senators responded with 17 shots of their own in the second, but its spirited effort couldn’t keep up with the Capitals’ firepower.

Just three minutes into the final frame, a Hagelin wristshot zipped past the glove of Hogberg to make it 4-2. Hagelin’s fourth of the season came shorthanded.

Anisimov scored on the power play to pull the Senators to within one just over a minute later, but the late push wasn’t enough to top the NHL’s best team.


Ottawa heads to Toronto to play the Maple Leafs Saturday night while the Capitals welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2020.

Adam Stanley, The Canadian Press