Alex Ovechkin, a durable 'Russian machine,' reaches 1,000 games

AP
Published 12:52 p.m. ET March 31, 2018 | Updated 11:08 a.m. ET April 1, 2018

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Alex Ovechkin on March 12 became the 20th NHL player to net 600 goals.
USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin is built like a linebacker with the motor of a steam engine and the mentality of a wrecking ball.

He can score like no other player of this generation and few in history and has the physicality to match. That was evident from his first NHL shift when he powered up ice and crushed Columbus defenseman Radoslav Suchy so hard it knocked out the stanchion between the panes of plexiglass.

Ovechkin at 32 is no longer the human bulldozer he once was, but his hard-hitting style never put a dent in his prime years as he became the fourth-fastest player to 600 goals. On Sunday in Pittsburgh, the Washington Capitals’ 2004 No. 1 pick will be the first player from that draft class to play 1,000 NHL regular-season games, a testament to his durability that is also difficult to duplicate in modern hockey.

“That he has reached 1,000 games this quickly…

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