Although Ovechkin raised his career point total to 827 with a pair of assists, it wasn't enough to prevent the Capitals from absorbing their fifth consecutive defeat, 4-3 in overtime to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
Sean Monahan scored the winning goal for Calgary at 4:17 of the extra period after Ovechkin lost control of the puck in the Flames' end of the ice.
"No question about the effort," Ovechkin said. "Everybody played hard, but sometimes luck is not on your side. In overtime, I think we had some pretty good chances — and they get one off of my stick and it goes in."
Washington is winless since beating Calgary on Oct. 25.
"I thought we played a really strong game," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "The only thing I'm disappointed with is the outcome."
Ovechkin moved atop the franchise scoring list when his shot from the left point was deflected by Nicklas Backstrom through the legs of goalie Jonas Hiller at 10:18 of the first period.
That broke a tie with Peter Bondra, who stood and cheered from the owner's box as Ovechkin raised his arms in triumph.
Bondra needed 961 games to reach 825 points; Ovechkin was playing in his 691st game.
"I am happy for Alex. It is well-deserved," Bondra said after the second period. "It was a matter of time, actually."
Bondra intended to go into the locker room to congratulate Ovechkin, but that gesture of sportsmanship will have to wait.
"We need to win tonight," he said, "because if we lose the game I definitely won't go and will probably postpone it until the next game or until they win."
The Flames, on the other hand, relished a victory in which they held the Capitals scoreless over the final 30 minutes.
"We stuck with it and got a huge two points," coach Bob Hartley said.
Calgary tied it at 14:50 of the third period when a clearing attempt of a shot by Markus Granlund went off the skate of Washington's Troy Brouwer and into the net.
Earlier, Washington's Marcus Johansson charged into the Calgary zone and fired the puck off the back boards. The ricochet bounced off Miller's skate and into the net to make it 2-all.
"We got a lucky goal, they got a lucky goal," Trotz said.
The Capitals outshot Calgary 13-10 in a first period highlighted by Ovechkin's record-breaking assist.
Minutes after inadvertently diving into his bench while trying to apply a check, the Flames' Lance Bouma stuffed in the rebound of a shot by Kris Russell at 9:09.
Backstrom tied it with his third goal of the season. But the focus was on Ovechkin, who skated in front of his bench to exchange high-fives down the line, an exercise usually reserved for the goal scorer.
Moments after Ovechkin reached the milestone, the scoreboard showed a montage of his memorable moments in a Capitals uniform. As the sellout crowd chanted "Ovie! Ovie!" he waved to acknowledge the ovation.
The 29-year-old Ovechkin, a native of Moscow, has 428 goals and 399 assists. He has eight goals and nine assists in 10 career games against Calgary.
The Flames regained the lead at 11:20 of the second period on Mark Giordano's team-leading sixth goal. Giordano gained possession in the left circle, deked Tom Wilson and moved inside before beating Holtby with a backhander.
Johansson's fluke goal followed. Ovechkin added his second assist came at 14:23 of the second period, when Joel Ward scored during a two-man advantage to make it 3-2.
NOTES: Capitals D Karl Alzner played in his 306th consecutive game, tying Dale Hunter for the fifth-longest streak in franchise history. ... Capitals C Brooks Laich missed a seventh straight game with an injured shoulder. ... Hiller has won six of his last seven starts, the exception a loss in a shootout. ... Calgary has outscored the opposition 17-7 in the third period.