Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored two goals in the first period of Tuesday night’s 5-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks, setting another NHL record along the way.
Ovechkin’s tallies were the 402nd and 403rd on the road in his 18-year career, passing Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky for the most on visiting ice in NHL history.
It also marked Ovechkin’s second multigoal game this season and 160th of his career. Only Gretzky, who retired with 189, has more multigoal games in NHL history.
Beating Vancouver goaltender Spencer Martin for the first time in his career, Ovechkin, 37, opened the scoring with an unassisted goal at 5:35 into the period. It was Ovechkin’s 135th game-opening goal, tying Jaromir Jagr for the most in NHL history.
He followed that up at the 11:52 mark with his 13th goal of the season. That tally was assisted by forwards Dylan Strome and Anthony Mantha. Washington led 3-1 after the first period.
Ovechkin nearly netted a hat trick when Vancouver pulled Martin for an extra skater with just over six minutes left, but his rocket of a shot skimmed the outside of the post. Instead it was Martin Fehervary who sealed it, flipping the puck high into the Canucks zone and into the empty net at 15:57 of the third period.
Earlier this month, Ovechkin set the NHL record for most goals scored with one franchise, netting his 787th career tally with the Capitals, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Gordie Howe’s career total with the Detroit Red Wings. The record-breaking goal came on home ice in a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Nov. 5.
The Capitals have struggled this season in a clogged Eastern Conference, but their woes have not slowed Ovechkin. He is the team’s leading scorer with 23 points, and his 20:57 time-on-ice average was tops among Washington forwards entering Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.