Alex Ovechkin scores 700th NHL goal; David Ayres climbs off zamboni to win game for Carolina

Alex Ovechkin scores 700th NHL goal; David Ayres climbs off zamboni to win game for Carolina

Ovechkin, who has only ever played for the Capitals, tied the game at 2-2 when his one-timer beat Mackenzie Blackwood and sparked congratulations from both benches and a standing ovation inside the Prudential Center.

The 34-year-old Russian was reaching the landmark in his 1,144th game and might prove to be the biggest threat yet to Wayne Gretzky's all-time record of 894 goals if he matches Gretzky's longevity and manages to play another five seasons.

Gordie Howe (801 goals), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708) are the other members of a very exclusive club.

"I knew even if I didn't score today, we still had 20 games [left in the season]. It's pretty good company. I'm happy to be here," Ovechkin said.

"But we have to focus on different things. Right now, it's important points for us and Sunday is going to be a big game [against the Pittsburgh Penguins]. I don't think the team was thinking about it too much."

The Devils also had the last laugh with Damon Severson sealing victory for them with a goal less than two minutes from the end of regulation.

David Ayres was the most unlikely of heroes for the Carolina Hurricanes in their 6-3 win over Maple Leafs in Toronto.

The 42-year-old, an emergency backup goalie, was forced to enter the game for Carolina in the second period when Petr Mrazek joined starter James Reimer in sustaining a game-ending injury.

In such circumstances, the home team or the home venue usually provides a third goalie and the call went out for Ayres, who drives the ice-cleaning zamboni at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto and regularly faces the Maple Leafs at practice when an extra goalie is needed.

He proved too much for Toronto's much-vaunted offense, recovering from letting in goals on the first two shots he faced to make eight straight saves and lead the Hurricanes to victory.

"I thought I'd be nervous if it ever happened. I was nervous for the whole second period," said Ayres.

"As you could tell, I couldn't stop a puck if I had to in the second. I told the boys in the intermission, 'I'll be ready to go.' All I thought was keep breathing nice and slowly and relax, the shots are going to come. I face these guys all the time, the Leafs, at practice, to be honest."

Warren Foegele scored twice for Carolina with their remaining goals coming from Martin Necas, Nino Niedereiter, Teuvo Teravainen and Lucas Wallmark.

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