Hours after saying he planned on scoring his first hat trick in nearly two years tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Alex Ovechkin tied Sergei Fedorov as the NHL’s all-time leading Russian-born goal scorer with his 483rd career goal.
Ovechkin’s game-tying goal came 4:51 into the second period and was his first on the power play this season. It was hardly in typical Ovechkin fashion. Positioned in the left circle, Ovechkin broke for the net, but fellow Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov’s cross-ice feed was broken up by a Maple Leafs defender.
Ovechkin quickly went from forehand to backhand to swat the bouncing puck past goaltender James Reimer and kicked off a wild celebration behind the Toronto net.
When the goal was announced, several Capitals teammates stood and applauded with their sticks as Ovechkin raised his left hand to salute the crowd.
The goal was Ovechkin’s team-high eighth of the season. His 483rd goal came in his 772nd NHL game. To put that into perspective, Fedorov scored 483 goals in 1,248 NHL games.