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Alex Ovechkin scores 600th goal further cementing his place among the all-time greats

Alex Ovechkin scores 600th goal further cementing his place among the all-time greats

Alex Ovechkin certainly has a flair for the dramatic. After being held scoreless on the Capitals' California road trip, he returned to Washington in a highly anticipated matchup with Patrik Laine and scored twice to reach No. 600 for his career. He is just the 20th player in NHL history to reach that mark.

After being limited to only 33 goals in 2016-17 and now at the age of 32, many wondered if Ovechkin's days as an elite goal-scorer were over. He entered the season 42 goals away from 600 and it was fair to wonder if he would even reach that mark this season or if the chase would stretch into the 2018-19 campaign.

That seems like a long time ago now.

After scoring 15 goals in his last 11 games, Laine entered Monday's contest with the hot hand. His latest scoring tear had pulled him even with Ovechkin for the league lead in goals with 40. Ovechkin rose to the challenge against the 19-year-old phenom.

Goal No. 599 came less than five minutes into the contest as a wrister from Ovechkin sneaked through the five-hole of goalie Connor Hellebuyck. With over 55 minutes left to play, there was never a doubt that 600 would not be far behind.

The historic tally came in the second period as he chipped a rebound over a sprawled Hellebuyck. As the puck dropped to restart play, fans serenaded Ovechkin with chants of, "Ovi! Ovi! Ovi!"

Take a moment to appreciate the historic moment. The last time a player scored his 600th goal was when Jerome Iginla did it on Jan. 5, 2016. Ovechkin is the only player in the NHL with 600 goals (Jaromir Jagr is playing in Europe, Iginla is playing for Providence in the AHL). It could be a long time before we see another player reach that mark. Patrick Marleau is the only active player with more than 500 as he sits with 529 and, at 38 years old, seems unlikely to score another 71 goals in his career.

In addition to being his 600th goal, Ovechkin's tally was also his league-leading 42nd of the season. He leads all players in goals since 1998-99, despite the fact that he did not make his NHL debut until 2005.

While Wayne Gretzky's all-time goal mark of 894 still remains very far in the distance, there are still several players very much within reach of Ovechkin. By season's end, Ovechkin could climb pass Jari Kurri (601), Dino Ciccarelli (608) and Bobby Hull (610). A 50-goal season also remains very much within reach. If he reaches that point, it will be for the eighth time in his remarkable career, pulling within one of Gretzky and Bossy who recorded nine 50-goal seasons.

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Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

Barry Trotz is now the head coach of the New York Islanders, a team that missed the playoffs and just lost their franchise player. So how does next season look on Long Island?

In the long summer months, the Capitals Faceoff Podcast will take a look at some of the Caps' competition next season. In this episode, it's the New York Islanders. Brian Compton of NHL.com joins Rob Carlin and Tarik El-Bashir to talk about what Trotz brings to Long Island and what's left to work with.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

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USA TODAY Sports

Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced an overhauled in-game entertainment experience for the 2018-19 Wizards and Capitals seasons on Wednesday. 

These changes include a new DJ stage, new permanent 3D on ice/on court projection system, along with new Wizards and Capitals entertainment squads, as Capital One Arena undergoes $40 million in renovations.

“We are committed to putting on the best show possible for every fan who comes to a game at Capital One Arena,” said MSE President of Business Operations Jim Van Stone.  “So, as we upgrade the facilities at the Arena this summer, we are also upgrading all of our in-game entertainment to keep the experience fresh and on the cutting edge.”

“We’re excited about these new changes to our game entertainment experience,” said Hunter Lochmann, MSE Senior Vice President of Marketing.  “We work hard to create the best, most engaging entertainment experience in professional sports and we hope fans love this new, revamped energy.”

 

Some of the other improvement announced were:

  • Digital signage experience throughout the fully-renovated concourses that will pull fans into an exclusively all-Wizards or all-Capitals team experience each night highlighting player and team imagery on each concourse
  • Sponsored quadrants in the Arena where fans will experience concourse takeovers and can expect special offers and giveaways from sponsors
  • Olympia ice resurfacer bus: groups of fans will be able to take pre-game and intermission rides
  • Award-winning, chef-inspired dining experience featuring options from premiere chefs David Chang, Cat Cora and Alex McCoy
  • A transformed and modernized PwC Club offering some of the best sightlines in the Arena and new 100-level lounge, both featuring top-of-the-line comfort seating and exclusive food and beverage options so fans can gather in style during the games 
  • A new in-bowl broadcasting platform for NBC Sports Washington

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