He said his wife, Nastya, who just returned from a weeklong trip to Moscow, had a feeling he would accomplish the feat against the Jets. Coach Barry Trotz noticed Ovechkin was unusually quiet.
Monday's game was the 990th game of Ovechkin's career. "I just wanted to score that because I know that one point will make a huge difference at the end of the year".
It's a marquee match-up, featuring the top two goal scorers in the National Hockey League and the second and final meeting between the two teams coincided with Patrik Laine and Alex Ovechkin being tied for the lead in the Rocket Richard Trophy with 40 goals. He said there's no additional pressure going up against Ovechkin, his longtime idol.
It took him 35 minutes to get those two goals. Chants of "Ovi! Ovi!" continued as he waved from the bench in the moments after and during a video montage at the next timeout. Ovechkin scored goals 599 and 600 of his career against Winnipeg to get to 42 this season. Now, the next obvious question for the 32-year-old Russian superstar is whether or not he'll eventually retire as the NHL's all-time leading goal scorer.
"He's the best goal scorer probably of my time, definitely, and a generation", said linemate Tom Wilson, who had the primary assist on Ovechkin's 600th.
"We're real pleased our young guy's got 40". He does things no one else in the league can do. Ovechkin also won the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year in 2006 after scoring 52 goals.
"I have confidence right now", Malkin said recently. "We should never take Alex for granted".
Patrik Laine knows where he stands. Even while hoping Ovechkin wouldn't score No. 600 against Winnipeg, Laine can't help but appreciate the scoring pace.
"It would be pretty awesome and pretty unbelievable", Ovechkin said.
Two former Capitals teammates, Matt Hendricks and Mathieu Perreault, were watching from the Jets' side when Ovechkin reached his latest round number in a career full of accomplishments. He can see an entirely different player from a month ago and someone who's scoring like a player who looks capable of hitting - and surpassing - 50. "He has that ability to change games just like that".
Ovechkin soaked up 600 quickly and is now eight away from 50 with 13 games to go. But then when you understand, holy f--, that's a lot of goals.
"I'm excited to play hockey". He joked that Ovechkin scoring 600 was "a free meal" for him and was thrilled to put a positive capper on the night for Washington.
"It's very, very unique and unusual for a player of Alex's vintage to be staring 50 goals in the face", Leonsis said.
Malkin right now might be the most unsafe player in the league.
Mason was sent home to Winnipeg and had his knee scoped Sunday, with an expected recovery time of two to three weeks, Maurice said. "He was a very physical player, covered an bad lot of ice during the games".
"But he uses the people around him better, maybe".