809 for Ovechkin.
Alex Ovechkin got closer to Wayne Gretzky's NHL goal-scoring record as the Capitals beat a struggling Elvis Merzlikins and the Blue Jackets 6-2 on Thursday at Nationwide Arena.
The Capitals nearly opened the scoring at 2:28 when Anthony Mantha walked in on the right wing and fired a shot from the right doorstep but was denied by Elvis Merzlikins.
Johnny Gaudreau scored his first goal since Dec. 11 to put Columbus on the board at 5:19 when he capitalized on a Washington turnover and fired a wrist shot from the right doorstep.
Jack Roslovic had a chance to double the Jackets' lead at 7:42 on a two-on-one but he missed the far post on a wrist shot from the left circle.
The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission while trailing 13-8 in shots on goal.
Patrik Laine nearly doubled the Columbus lead at 0:18 with a backhand shot from the left slot that hit the crossbar.
The Capitals tied the game at 1:51 when T.J. Oshie fired a shot from the high slot past the glove of Merzlikins.
Washington took the lead at 11:15 when Nicolas Aube-Kubel rushed down the left-wing side and beat Merzlikins down low from the left doorstep.
Gavin Bayreuther scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at 12:59 off a slap-shot from the top of the left circle that trickled through Darcy Kuemper's pads.
Washington re-took the lead at 17:20 when Dylan Strome fired a knuckle-puck that touched Martin Fehevary last on it's way into the net on one of the weirdest goals you'll ever see.
The Capitals doubled their lead at 18:57 when Garnet Hathaway fired a slap-shot from the right circle that beat Merzlikins, who was laying down on the ground following a goal-mouth scramble.
Washington took a 4-2 lead into the third period with a 29-16 edge in shots on goal.
Bayreuther thought he cut the deficit in half with a wrist shot from the left slot at 4:37 but the goal was called back for offside after a successful Washington challenge.
The Capitals added to their lead on the power play when Oshie scored his second of the night off a rebound from the goal mouth at 6:41.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 809th career goal from his signature spot, the left circle, on the power play with a slap shot at 13:05 to give the Capitals a 6-2 lead. With that goal, Ovechkin passed Teemu Selanne for 16th all-time in points.
Also point No. 1,458 (809G, 649A) for Alex Ovechkin to pass Teemu Selanne (1,457) for 16th in NHL history— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) January 6, 2023
The 6-2 score held as the Jackets fall to 11-24-2 on the season.
- Shots on Goal: WSH 37-27 CBJ
- Faceoff %: WSH 65.3-34.7 CBJ
- Power play: WSH 2/2-0/1 CBJ
- Takeaways: WSH 6-1 CBJ
- Giveaways: WSH 6-6 CBJ
- Blocked shots: WSH 12-18 CBJ
- Hits: WSH 16-14 CBJ
5-on-5 stats (via naturalstattrick.com):
- Expected Goals (xG): WSH 2.26-1.8 CBJ
- Chances (CF): WSH 59-46 CBJ
- Shots (SF): WSH 33-25 CBJ
- Scoring Chances (SCF): WSH 26-22 CBJ
- High-Danger Chances (HDCF): WSH 10-9 CBJ
Eric Robinson did not play due to an upper-body injury he suffered in the third period of Tuesday's loss against the Senators.
The Jackets finish up their quick two-game home stand on Saturday when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes at 4 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio and 97.1 FM The Fan.
The club travels to Washington, D.C. to take on the Capitals on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Ohio and 97.1 FM The Fan.