For the first time in our short history we have two comrades of the night as two of Russia’s most seasoned NHL vets had a memorable night up in Ottawa. Prior to face-off, the Senators honored Sergei Gonchar on his 1,000th game in the NHL by presenting him with a plaque, a silver stick, and a portrait. A video was also shown of his career and the various teams he played for including Washington, Boston, and Pittsburgh respectively.
Gonchar becomes just the fifth Russian (and third Sergei) in league history to surpass the plateau joining the likes of Sergei Fedorov, Alexei Zhitnik, Slava Kozlov, Sergei Zubov, and teammate Alex Kovalev. Kovalev will soon surpass Fedorov for most all-time games for a Russian-born NHLer needing just 11 more games. After being criticized in the early going of the season by GM Bryan Murray, Kovalev scored two goals and added an assist en-route to a 5-2 Ottawa win.
The original Kovy would make team history when scoring his first goal of the night just nine seconds after teammate Antii Tormanen making it the fastest back-to-back goals in the club’s 18-years of existence. He would beat fellow countryman Ilya Bryzgalov, who would come in relief of Jason LaBarbera, in the third period. Kovalev and Gonchar each notched an assist on the evening as well.
Below are videos of Kovalev’s goals as well as the Gonchar tribute followed by post-game reactions by both players courtesy as always of the NHL and NHL.com