Russia's Ovechkin passes Brett Hull for 4th on NHL goal list

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Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin scored a first period goal against Columbus to pass Brett Hull to move into fourth place all by himself on the all-time goal list (AFP/BRUCE BENNETT)

Alex Ovechkin moved into sole possession of fourth place on the National Hockey League's all-time goal list on Friday as the Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3.

Russia's Ovechkin passed former St. Louis Blues sniper Brett Hull on the list with a wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle in the first period for his 742nd career goal.

"Means a lot," Ovechkin said of the milestone, achieved in front of a crowd of 18,100 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

"When you start playing and you came to the NHL, you never feel like you were going to be in that position and with those names, but it is a special moment for me, for my parents, my brother, my wife, kids obviously. It is pretty huge."

His 12th goal of the season came off a pass from teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Ovechkin's next target on the list is Czech Jaromir Jagr, who is third with 766 goals.

The 36-year-old Ovechkin has a ways to go to catch Wayne Gretzky who leads with 894 goals.

Ovechkin would have to stay healthy into his 40s and average just over 30 goals over the next five years to catch the Canadian.

Hull congratulated Ovechkin in a video message on Friday.

"Congratulations again. Keep climbing that ladder, and I wish you nothing but success. Way to go," Hull said.

Garnet Hathaway scored his first two goals of the season for the Capitals, who have won three in a row after losing three straight.

Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves.

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