Last Sunday night, fans at the Verizon Center (home of the Washington Capitals) were witness to a unique moment. Alexander Ovechkin, one of the most popular stars around the National Hockey League, scored his 500th career goalin a blowout (7-1) win against the Ottawa Senators. His milestone goal, scored at 16:19 of the second period, gave a four goal lead to his team. He accepted a deflected pass from Jason Chimera and gunned a beautiful top net shot past Sens goalie Andrew Hammond. After his goal, his teammates jumped on the ice to celebrate the moment with him. For years, we knew that Ovechkin was a special player of his era.

This season proves that his talent and skill set him apart from the vast majority of the players in the league. By scoring his 500th career goal, he became the 43rd player in the league to reach the 500th goal club. In addition, he is the fifth fastest player to score a half thousand goals. Hall of Famers Wayne Greztky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, and Brett Hull are the only players to score faster than Ovechkin. He's also the first Caps player to reach this milestone, and he's the Russian top goal scorer in NHL history by scoring his 485th career goals on November 19, outpacing former Russian star Sergei Fedorov (484 goals).

A rejuvenating player

Ovechkin’s career was not flourishing at all times.

In the past years, many rumors have circulated that Ovie was a tough player to coach. During the 2011-2012 season, former Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau was fired. Rumors suggested that the bad relationship between Ovechkin and Boudreau caused Boudreau’s firing. Ovechkin was not a team player during that period, too.

In fact, he didn't help his team at all by posting a +/- -35 in 2013-2014 (good for third to last in the league).This season, Ovie is a rejuvenated player. He's currently third in the league in +/- (21), and first in goals scored (26). He looks like a player that Caps head coach Barry Trotz and teammates appreciate.

"It's amazing. He's a great player, and no disrespect to the Senators...when we all jumped on the ice there, we couldn't contain ourselves. We had to get out there and celebrate with him," said teammate T.J. Oshie.

An Ovechkin back to his old form is certainly helping his teamplay well this season (first in the league), and it'll be interesting to see how the team fares this year when it's all said and done.

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