Alex Ovechkin scored his 741st career goal to tie Brett Hull for fourth on the NHL’s all-time list, and helped the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 on Monday night.
Tom Wilson added two goals and Evgeny Kuznetsov contributed his ninth, 10th and 11th assists as the Capitals snapped a three-game losing streak.
Ovechkin also assisted two goals, including Wilson’s first, which gave Washington an early lead it never relinquished. Connor McMichael and John Carlson also scored, and Vitek Vanecek made 20 saves for the Capitals.
Cody Eakin, Anders Bjork and Colin Miller scored for the Sabres, who suffered a fifth consecutive defeat, with four of those coming in regulation. Dustin Tokarski had 25 saves.
After entering Monday tied for this season’s NHL goals lead, Ovechkin got his 11th of the season when he redirected Dmitry Orlov’s shot into the top left corner nearly midway through the second period.
That gave Washington a 3-1 lead that stood until Bjork scored early in the third period.
But Wilson completed his first multi-goal game since March less than three minutes later, taking a feed from Kuznetsov and finishing between Tokarski’s pads to make it 4-2.
Carlson added his goal with just over two minutes remaining, before Miller scored the Sabres’ consolation tally.
MOVING ON UP
At age 36, Ovechkin is on pace to pass third-place Jaromir Jagr’s 766 goals before the end of the season. Wayne Gretsky holds the all-time record with 894 goals, followed by Gordie Howe with 801.
Ovechkin nearly got his history-making goal in the first period when he redirected Trevor Van Riemsdyk’s shot from the point. But it caught an inadvertent piece of Wilson’s arm on its way past Tokarski, so Ovechkin received the assist.
Capitals: LW Axel Jonsson-Fjallby became the sixth Washington rookie to make his NHL debut this season. … C Nic Dowd (lower body) exited in the second period and will be reevaluated Tuesday. … Kuznetsov’s secondary assist on Ovechkin’s goal brought him to 432 career points, pushing him past Dennis Maruk for 11th on the franchise points list. … Ovechkin reached 600 career assists and Kuznetsov reached 300.
Sabres: D Rasmus Asplund saw his career-long points streak halted at six games.