Alex Ovechkin Watch is on.

The Washington Capitals star scored a goal in a 4-0 victory against visiting Carolina on Thursday night to pull within a hat trick of climbing onto the podium of NHL royalty.

The goal was the 763rd of Ovechkin's career, putting him three back of Jaromir Jagr for third in league history. Only Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801) have scored more.

Ovechkin, whose 33 goals this season rank fourth in the NHL, will look to close in on Jagr when the Capitals play host to the expansion Seattle Kraken on Saturday night.

It comes at a difficult time for Ovechkin, as he's had to face questions about his native Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"He's done so much good for the NHL and so much good for this organization," Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. "It's a really difficult situation for him, a really difficult situation for (Evgeny) Kuznetsov and (Dmitry) Orlov and the other Russians that we have on our team."

The Capitals snapped a six-game home losing streak that dated to Jan. 22 -- and won their first in regulation at Capital One Arena since Dec. 29.

"The last month was not what we want," Ovechkin told ESPN. "Obviously we were struggling. It was a little bit frustrating. But it was a good response by everybody, and we just have to play the same."

Goaltender Vitek Vanecek, selected by the Kraken in the expansion draft and then traded back to Washington, made 36 saves for his third shutout of the season. He was making his first start since Feb. 1 because of an upper-body injury.

"It feels good. You're trying to get back. Just trying to help the team," Vanecek said. "(The team) helped me a lot, blocking shots. We battled hard and it was a good game."

The Capitals also got forward Anthony Mantha back after he'd been out since Nov. 4 with a left shoulder injury.

"Mentally felt awesome. It was a long four months, little over four months, so just getting ready for a game felt good," Mantha said. "Then stepping on the ice for warmups you see the fans for the first time in quite some time. Physically, I think it went pretty well. Obviously, a little bit of fatigue at the end there, but (that's) to be expected."

The Kraken snapped a seven-game skid Wednesday, rallying from a two-goal deficit to defeat visiting Nashville 4-3. Yanni Gourde and Colin Blackwell each had a goal and an assist for Seattle, with Gourde setting up Blackwell's short-handed winner early in the third period.

It was especially sweet for Blackwell, who began his career with the Predators.

"That one felt good. A team I used to play for, those ones always feel good," Blackwell said. "That one definitely sticks out there for this year."

It was the third short-handed goal in the past five games for the Kraken, who have killed off 18 of their past 20 penalties.

"We kind of switched it up recently to be very aggressive. I think we've been doing a good job of that," Blackwell said of the penalty kill. "Any time you can frustrate their top guys and put a lot of pressure on them and make it hard on them, it's very beneficial for us and makes a long night for them."

--Field Level Media

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