The Senators hoped to delay Ovechkin’s quest for a tie, and pass Howe on the NHL’s goal scoring list


Ottawa – Alex Ovechkin He has a chance to make history against the Ottawa Senators again, but the Senators have no interest in being a part of it.


After failing to score in his past three games, Ovechkin remains one goal behind Gordie Howe for second in NHL history with 801 heading into the Washington Capitals’ game against the Senators at Canadian Tire Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN5, RDS, USA). NBCSWA, SN NOW).

The left winger scored his 500th career goal against Ottawa on January 10, 2016 in Washington and has continued to climb relentlessly up the NHL goal list ever since, trailing only Howe and Wayne Gretzky, the league record holders with 894 goals.

“I grew up being a fan of Gretzky in my era, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, and I think that guy is right up there with Gordy… It’s really cool,” said Senators coach DJ Smith. “In today’s world with all the videos and goalkeepers, today’s goalkeepers, how good they are, the system of play, keep scoring. It’s really amazing.”

Ovechkin, who has scored 20 goals in 34 games this season, appeared as if he was going by an amateur after hitting his 29th NHL hat-trick to reach 800 goals for the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 13. But the 37-year-old has been stuck in the 800th through three games at the Capitals’ home, failing to score in a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Dec. 15, a 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday and a 4-3 win in time. overtime against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

Likewise, the Senators would rather watch Ovechkin hold Howe against another team.

“Obviously, I’m very aware of what’s going to happen here and I’ve been watching this guy for as long as I can remember,” Senators forward Drake Patterson He said. “Obviously, one of the players I was looking to grow and it’s always special when we play against him and hopefully we can get him off the board tonight… You want to see him get that, but not just against our team.

“Maybe after the Christmas break we’ll see it on TV, but, hopefully, not tonight.”

Ovechkin scored 35 goals in 52 games against Ottawa in his 18 NHL seasons, including a four-goal game in Washington’s 8-6 win over the Senators on December 29, 2007, and a hat-trick in a 5-4 shootout win in Ottawa on October 5. 2017.

The Senators held Ovechkin to no point and limited him to two shots on goal in a 5-2 win in their first meeting with the Capitals of the season at the Canadian Tire Center on October 20. They know they will need similar performance. Thursday will delay his next goal at least once.

Ottawa Defenseman: “It was the same challenge every time he played against him the way he shoots the puck, the way he’s so dangerous every time.” Thomas Chabot He said. “Obviously, it’s a big challenge for us tonight, but I think we’re looking forward to it, and obviously, if you can find a way to keep it, I think you keep a big part of their attack.”

But Smith knows it’s only a matter of time before Ovechkin breaks through.

“He’s a huge guy with great hands who has an absolute desire to score and is willing to do anything to do it, block shots, whatever he has to do to score,” Smith said. “For that reason, we’re obviously sitting here and he’s this far.”

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