All eyes were on the Blackhawks on December 13th; the Hawks hosted the Capitals for a nationally broadcasted matchup. However, hockey fans weren’t tuning into this game because of Chicago, rather, an opportunity to witness history happen against Chicago.
Prior to the game, Ovechkin sat at 797 goals, only four goals shy of Gordie Howe’s 801.
It took just 24 seconds to get The Great Eight going; Ovi beat Chicago netminder Petr Mrazek on the Capital’s third shot of the game.
A little less than eight minutes later, Ovechkin buried his second goal of the game on the powerplay, putting home a shot on a gaping Blackhawks’ net.
Tyler Johnson got the Blackhawks on the board with a minute remaining in the first. Johnson’s third goal of the season came in his return from injured reserve.
Chicago and Washington traded goals in the second; former Blackhawk Trevor Van Riemsdyk scored to put the Capitals back up by two goals, followed by Jonathan Toews to cut the Hawks’ deficit to one. Finally, Nick Dowd capped off the second period to give the Caps a 4-2 lead heading into the final frame.
Ovi was relatively quiet in the second–at least for his standards–only recording one assist.
That was until 13:26 in the third, when Ovechkin buried a shot on a wide open cage. There it was, in all of its glory: goal number 800.
Not only was this Ovechkin’s 800th career goal, but it was his hat trick goal, and his 20th goal of the season. Fans in Chicago showed tremendous respect to the legend, cheering and throwing hats for Ovi.
Anthony Mantha scored shortly after to increase the Caps’ lead to four goals. Though, this tally will forever be overshadowed by what occurred minutes before.
Max Domi and Dmitry Orlov would both score late, and the game ended 7-3.
Fortunately, no one will remember this game for the score. Unfortunately, Ovi’s incredible moment–now cemented in hockey history–will forever haunt Blackhawks fans.
In recent years, the Blackhawks have been on the wrong end of history a few times:
- Last season, the Blackhawks recorded the longest losing streak to start a season in franchise history–the second longest streak in the salary cap era.
- Back in January of 2020, Pekka Rinne became the 12th goalie to score a goal in NHL history by scoring an empty netter in Chicago.
- In 2017, the Blackhawks were swept by the Predators, giving them their first sweep in franchise history.
Although Ovechkin’s 800th career goal was scored against the Blackhawks, such a milestone is difficult to ignore. Congratulations, Ovi.