NHL: High-scoring Kraken host Caps, Alex Ovechkin

If it seems like every goal Alex Ovechkin scores this season has historical significance, perhaps that’s because it does.

Ovechkin will try to continue his assault on the league’s record book Thursday night when the Washington Capitals face the surprising Kraken in Seattle.

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The longtime Capitals star scored twice Tuesday in a 5-1 victory at Vancouver, tying one NHL record and breaking another. Ovechkin’s first strike against the Canucks was his 135th game-opening goal, tying Jaromir Jagr for most in league history.

His second tally was the 403rd road goal of his career, breaking Wayne Gretzky’s NHL mark.

“It’s always nice when you beat the Great One,” Ovechkin said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of milestone it is. It’s history.”

Ovechkin has 793 career goals, eight behind Gordie Howe for second in NHL history. Gretzky holds the record with 894.

“He has 13 goals this year and I want to say like eight or nine have been … a new record,” said teammate Dylan Strome, who assisted on the second goal. “I’m sure you will see the video of the reaction we had after the game when we found out … cool moment. Anytime you pass Wayne Gretzky in anything, it deserves a standing ovation, which he got.”

Ovechkin’s first goal gave the Capitals a lead, something they hadn’t enjoyed in their previous four road games. They had lost six consecutive games on the road.

“He was really good in the first and I thought we were really good in the first so it was nice to get out and get a jump like that,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. “He certainly led. We knew we needed to have a good first period, have a good game and you need your best players to do that.”

The Kraken are also coming off a record performance in a 9-8 overtime victory Tuesday in Los Angeles.

The nine goals marked the most for the second-year franchise and extended their winning streak to six games, also a team-best.

Andre Burakovsky scored his second of the game at 2:08 of overtime to lift Seattle after the Kraken had squandered a two-goal lead in the third period. Matty Beniers and Jared McCann also tallied twice in what was the highest-scoring game in the league this season.

“End of the day, it was one of those games where last shot wins, and that’s exactly what happened,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “It’s better to be on the winning side and the good side of it than the other, but it’s a crazy hockey game.”

McCann likened the game to pond and junior hockey.

“It’s going to be one of those nights,” he said. “Going to be a lot of goals, going to be a lot of offense, so good to get the two points. It wasn’t like we were trying to open it up. Just had some weird bounces, had some things open up.”

Shell-shocked Seattle goaltender Martin Jones made 27 saves.

“We didn’t really particularly play well defensively,” McCann said. We didn’t shut it down in front of ‘Jonesy,’ and that’s on us.”

Added Burakovsky: “It was a kind of messed up night. We were trading chances, a lot of sloppy plays. I think we played a really bad game, and so did they. We were lucky that they didn’t play good at all.”

Seattle has scored 26 goals in its past four games and are third in the league in scoring — 3.82 goals per game. Moreover, their 14 wins in just 22 games this season are already more than halfway toward their total (27) all last season as an expansion team.

–Field Level Media

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