Ovechkin becomes 1st Russian to score 500 goals

Drew Hallowell / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Alex Ovechkin has completed another checkpoint on his path to becoming arguably the greatest pure goal scorer in NHL history.

The Washington Capitals captain became the first Russian in league history to score 500 goals Sunday night, beating Ottawa Senators netminder Andrew Hammond (for the first time) with a labeled wrist shot that was fittingly fired on the power play.

Ovechkin is the 43rd player, and the fifth-fastest, to reach the plateau. Only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, and Brett Hull needed fewer games than the Capitals' sniper, who achieved the milestone in his 801st career game.

And importantly, on home ice.

"It's great to do it in front of our fans," Ovechkin said after the game, according to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post. "The celebration, all jumping up. It was a very special moment. I'm very sure everybody will remember that.

"It's history."

It wasn't over just then. Ovechkin scored No. 501 (and his second on Hammond) later on in the contest, exceeding Patrick Kane and Jamie Benn at the league goal scoring apex with his 26th.

Because it truly was his night.

The "all-time" debate will rage on, but he's been without question the deadliest, most prolific sniper since breaking into NHL in 2005. Here are a few more facts to help illustrate his unmatched greatness:

Ovechkin becomes 1st Russian to score 500 goals
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