Ovechkin powers Caps to 6-5 win with a four goal night
THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN… Troy Brouwer buried a shootout goal under the bar on Ben Bishop to lift the Caps to a 6-5 shoutout win. Phillip Grubauer stopped Ondrej Palak to earn his first career shootout win in his first career shootout. Is Michal Neuvirth nervous?
OUR GAME MVP… This is easy. His name is Alexander Ovechkin. Simply put, Alexander Ovechkin recorded a hat trick PLUS ONE! Ovechkin got the Caps back into it after being down 3-0 with his 13th hat trick of his career. The Captain also tied the game with just 32 seconds remaining in the game. What a game by Ovechkin, one to remember. Ovechkin also set the franchise record in power play goals. Ovechkin has 26 goals and 11 power play goals, leading the NHL in both categories. The Captain was absolute money on the power play striking quick bullets at Tampa bay goalie Ben Bishop. Bishop simply had no answer for Ovechkin tonight.
THE GOOD… Alex the Great. Ovechkin scored on two separate goals in under 7 seconds after face offs for his 23rd and 24th goals of the season. After his power play goal in the second period, coming on a five minute major by Richard Panik, Ovechkin added the equalizer to lead the Capitals back to a 4-4 tie with 1:12 left to play in the second period. The two power play tallies for the Captain give him 11 man advantage goals for the season, also leading the NHL. It was Ovechkin’s 13th career hat trick. Ovi the decided to bail the Caps loose play out by scoring his fourth of the night to send the Caps into overtime. This game was all about the Great 8.
THE BAD… Besides Mike Green’s lack of discipline, the penalty kill units let down the team in the first period allowing two power play tallies. Caps had a miserable first period, probably one of their worst this season, getting out scored, out shot, out hustled, and dominated in puck possession. Caps played pretty sloppy defense in the third period that to the game winning goal. Allowing five goals on home ice against a struggling team usually doesn’t translate to a win. Fortunately, the Caps escaped tonight.
THE FIGHTS… No fights tonight.
THE STUDS… Alex Ovechkin. See above. In addition to the accolades for Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom put together a helluva night himself, scoring his 7th goal of the season and adding four assists, factoring into five,of the Caps goals. It was Backstrom’s first five point night of the season and the fourth of his career. It was Backstrom’s fifth game that he scored three or more points in a game. Ovechkin has now scored 48 goals over his last 52 games.
THE DUDS… How about Mike Green? Green committed four penalties for eighteen minutes in the first twelve minutes of the game that led to two Tampa Bay power play goals. Simply some of the worst hockey we have seen from Green, and that’s saying a lot. Braden Holtby failed to bail out Green and the penalty kill allowing two power play goals and an even strength goal in the first twelve minutes that chased Holtby to the locker and ushering in rookie Phillip Grubauer. The third goal was completely on Holtby and should have been an easy stop. Holtby permitted three goals in just eight shots on net. Not a good night for Holtby. After a few good nights, Martin Erat had a few bad giveaways tonight. Grubauer bailed him out early and late in the third period on bad giveaways.
THE MISSING IN ACTION… Patrick Wey was missing tonight. He wasn’t even in the arena. Wey was sent back to the AHL Hershey Bears earlier today.
MULTIPOINT SCORERS… Alex Ovechkin has his 13th career hat trick and ended the game with four goals. Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and four assists.
THE RECORD SETTER… Alex Ovechkin scored two power play goals tonight, breaking the Caps franchise record in power play goals. He passed former Caps great Peter Bondra with his 138th career power play.
WHAT IT ALL MEANS… The Caps had a big opportunity at home, taking on a struggling Tampa Bay team that had lost five consecutive road games. They permitted five goal on home ice, but showed the gritty fight and never give up attitude coming back from three goal deficits to earn two big standing points. Caps improve to 17-12-2 and moving back to with seven points of Pittsburgh. They also move five points ahead of the Rangers and Hurricanes in second place in the Metro Division. Huge game for Ovechkin! big game for Backstrom, wonderful win for Grubauer.