Alex Ovechkin scored his 500th career goal against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. It came in his 801st career game.
That makes Ovechkin hit the major milestone in the fifth fewest games in NHL history. He also became the first Russian to ever score 500 goals, having passed Sergei Fedorov for most goals by a Russian-born player earlier in the season.
Here are the fewest games to 500 goals in NHL history, updated with Ovechkin’s entry on Sunday.
1. Wayne Gretzky (575 GP)
2. Mario Lemieux (605 GP)
3. Mike Bossy (647 GP)
4. Brett Hull (693 GP)
5. Alex Ovechkin (801 GP)
6. Phil Esposito (803 GP)
Overall, he’s just the 43rd player to ever reach that milestone. (See a list of the other players here.) The era in which he’s managed to achieve this makes the feat all that much more impressive. It’s a low-scoring era that many before him didn’t have to compete with.
The goal comes from right around the face-off dot, where he’s scored over and over throughout the years, making it a perfect way for the goal to come.
Over his career, Ovechkin has had impressive road and home symmetry. It was his 251st career goal in 401 home games, while he’s scored 249 goals on the road in 400 road games. That goal also brings Ovechkin into a tie for the league’s goal lead with 25.
Ovechkin’s legend continues to grow. He holds almost every Capitals offensive record and after scoring 53 goals last season he became just the sixth player in NHL history to score at least 50 goals in six seasons. The other names on that list are legend: Bossy (9), Gretzky (9), Marcel Dionne (6), Guy Lafleur (6) and Lemieux (6). He’s also a three-time winner of the Hart Trophy and a five-time winner of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s leading scorer.
Watch the milestone goal below.
— NHL (@NHL) January 11, 2016
More celebration from Ovi after goal number 500.
RELATED: The NHL’s 500 Goal Club
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.