By the numbers: Alex Ovechkin’s road to 800 career goals

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin examines his stick

Alex Ovechkin continued his ascent up the NHL leaderboard with his 800th career goal Tuesday, joining generational icons Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe as the only players in league history to ever reach the threshold.

Ovechkin’s dominance has stretched a span of nearly two decades, starting from his very first game with the Capitals as a rookie in 2005 when he announced his presence by scoring two goals in front of a sold-out MCI Center crowd on opening night. His career has intersected with past greats like Brett Hull and Steve Yzerman while setting the stage for today’s young stars such as Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews.

Even as he aged into his late 30s, the Great 8 has remained one of the NHL’s most potent goal scorers. It’s allowed him to climb to the heights of Gretzky and Howe, heights that for decades seemed insurmountable. As Ovechkin nears Howe’s total of 801 for the second most all time, it’s worth pausing to look back on how he reached the 800-goal club.

Here’s a look at Ovechkin’s career totals by the numbers:


Ovechkin has already established himself as the most potent power-play scorer of all time, but he reached 800 with goals in every strength and situation:

Even Strength: 503 – 4th most in NHL history (includes ENGs)

Power Play: 293 – NHL record (includes ENGs)

Empty Netters: 53 – 2nd most in NHL history (Gretzky, 56)

Shorthanded: 5


Penalty Shots: 2


Ovechkin has had 107 different players register an assist on his goals, including 13 who have recorded at least 20 such helpers:

Nicklas Backstrom: 278 – 4th most assists on a single teammate’s goals in NHL history

John Carlson: 142

Evgeny Kuznetsov: 103

Mike Green: 70

Marcus Johansson: 57

Alexander Semin: 45

T.J. Oshie: 42

Tom Wilson: 39

Unassisted: 39

Dmitry Orlov: 34

Dainius Zubrus: 26

Brooks Laich: 26

Viktor Kozlov: 21

Karl Alzner: 20


Ovechkin has scored on 165 different goalies, third most in NHL history behind Jaromir Jagr (178) and Patrick Marleau (177). Fifteen different netminders have allowed 10 or more goals against him:

Marc-Andre Fleury (+): 25

Henrik Lundqvist (+): 24

Carey Price (+): 22

Kari Lehtonen: 22

Cam Ward: 19

Ryan Miller (+): 19

Ondrej Pavelec: 18

Sergei Bobrovsky (+): 15

Devan Dubnyk: 12

Andrei Vasilevskiy (+): 11

Brian Elliott: 11

Ben Bishop: 10

Craig Anderson: 10

Jaroslav Halak: 10

Tuukka Rask (+): 10

(+) denotes goaltender is a past Vezina Trophy winner


Having spent his entire career in D.C., Ovechkin has scored against every active NHL franchise except for the Capitals — including the two recent expansion teams in the Vegas Golden Knights (5 goals) and Seattle Kraken (3). He’s scored at least 30 goals against 13 different teams:

Winnipeg Jets: 51 – Most by any player vs. WPG

Tampa Bay Lightning: 50 – Most by any player vs. TBL

Carolina Hurricanes: 47

Philadelphia Flyers: 46

Florida Panthers: 43 – Most by any player vs. FLA

New York Islanders: 42

New York Rangers: 42

Toronto Maple Leafs: 41

New Jersey Devils: 38

Buffalo Sabres: 37

Pittsburgh Penguins: 37

Ottawa Senators: 35

Montreal Canadiens: 34


The rise of Ovechkin also brought the Capitals’ ascent into one of the winningest teams of the last two decades. Here are his goals broken down by how they changed the score:

Game-opening goals: 136 – Most in NHL history

Game-tying goals: 140 – Most in NHL history

Go-ahead goals: 269 – Most in NHL history

Game-winning goals: 124 – Second in NHL history (Jagr, 135)

Overtime goals: 25 – Most in NHL history


When Ovechkin scores one goal, more tend to follow. Here's a breakdown of his best individual games and seasons:

Multi-goal games: 162 – 2nd most in NHL history (Gretzky, 189)

Hat tricks: 29

Four-goal games: 4

20-goal seasons: 18 – 6th most in NHL history

30-goal seasons: 16 – 2nd most in NHL history (Gartner, 17)

40-goal seasons: 12 – Tied with Gretzky for most in NHL history

50-goal seasons: 9 – Tied with Gretzky and Bossy for most in NHL history

60-goal seasons: 1, with 65 in 2007-08 (no one has done it since)