NHL legend Gretzky, Russian star Ovechkin play to draw

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Washington (AFP)

NHL all-time scoring leader Wayne Gretzky and Russian winger Alex Ovechkin, the current star chasing Gretzky's career goals mark, played to a draw in an internet videogame matchup for charity.

The meeting between the Canadian legend known as "The Great One" and the Washington Capitals star dubbed "The Great Eight" streamed Wednesday night and raised more than $40,000 (37,055 euros) for the Edmonton Food Bank and a Washington foundation that provides meals to medical workers combating the coronavirus pandemic.

Gretzky retired in 1999 with an NHL record 894 goals while Ovechkin had scored 706 to rank eighth in league history when the deadly virus outbreak shut down the 2019-20 NHL campaign.

Ovechkin, 34, has had seven 50-goal seasons and was nearing another when the campaign was halted, putting an indefinite hold on his bid to overtake Gretzky's all-time mark.

Gretzky, 59, won the first game 5-4 in overtime and the second was shortened to two periods, with Ovechkin winning 4-1, which prompted the players to skip a scheduled third game and together match $20,000 in fan donations.

"We both are not very good at this game, but what a great cause when everybody's so down and out," Gretzky said. "A fun night and hopefully everybody's having a little bit of enjoyment laughing at us."