Evergreen Ovechkin reaches new NHL landmark (VIDEO)
Russian ice hockey star Alexander Ovechkin has preserved his place in the sport's history after he tied the all-time NHL record for the most goals in a season by a player aged 36 or older when he netted his 48th of the campaign for the Washington Capitals in the second period of Monday's game with the top-of-the-league Colorado Avalanche.
The goal puts Ovechkin just two further strikes away from what would be the ninth 50-goal season of his career and increased his career tally to 778.
The Russian is now just 23 behind Gordie Howe and 116 behind the iconic Wayne Gretzky in the all-time scorers list.
Ovechkin is now tied with Teemu Selanne for the most goals in a season by a player aged 36 or more - a record which has stood since the 2006-07 season.
The record-equaling goal was a memorable one. It began with a wide shot form John Carlson which fell into the stride of Evgeny Kuznetsov, who fed Ovechkin to slam the puck home.
And if the goal seemed like it was the result of a fortuitous ricochet, Kuznetsov said that it was the result of hours of work on the practice rink.
“That’s a set play,” Kuznetsov said to NBC Sports. “We talk about that – Johnny can use ‘yellow’ and we know that goalie plays like that. That’s absolutely wrong by you. That’s a set play.”
Ovechkin's handiwork in the Avalanches' Ball Arena proved crucial, as the Capitals ended up the victors in a thrilling 3-2 win.
The Russian is widely considered to be one of the finest players of his generation. He is a one-time Stanley Cup champion and has been named on eight occasions to the NHL's All-Star first team.