Apparently, Ovi wants you to have a new desktop wallpaper every other day now. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)
Entering tonight’s game with the Edmonton Oilers, the big story on everyone’s mind was that Alex Ovechkin’s main running-mate for the past four seasons, Nicklas Backstrom, would be sidelined for the first time in his career due to a fractured left thumb he re-aggravated Monday against the Lightning. As Backstrom’s impressive consecutive games streak ended at 341, the big unknown was if it would have a negative effect on the Capitals suddenly surging offense.
Despite their impressive play of late, the Capitals’ last eight victories have been by only a one goal margin.
Uh, not anymore.
After a fast-paced first period saw the two teams combine for 22 shots on goal with no tallies, the second period opened with a frenzy. At 5:38 during the Capitals’ second powerplay of the game, Jason Arnott found Alex Ovechkin wide-open in front of the net. Ovechkin one-timed Arnott’s slap-pass home, which gave the Caps a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, Eric Fehr, playing in his first game since mid-January, converted during the Capitals’ next man advantage. The Winkler, Manitoba native knocked in a pin-balling puck that found his stick after Nikolai Khabibulin couldn’t corral a booming John Carlson slap shot. Edmonton coach Tom Renney would then call timeout.
Renney’s timeout would only stop the bleeding until the third period, where Ovechkin would strike again. Ovi, clearly energized after meeting Ryan Rowlinson of the Make-A-Wish Foundation earlier today, forced a turnover in the offensive zone, played tic-tac-toe with Marcus Johansson, and then roofed home his second goal of the night, his fourth multi-goal game of the year. It was another spectacular, highlight-reel goal for Ovechkin, who has been bringing his A game for the last several weeks.
Fehr would score his second of the night after Khabibulin unwisely vacated his crease, and Alex Semin would then win the fans some wings after some pretty passing with Marco Sturm. Caps beat Oilers 5-0.
With the win, the Capitals leapfrog the Boston Bruins into second place in the East. They also pull within two points of the first place Philadelphia Flyers. And despite the Lightning winning in their game tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Capitals still remain two points ahead of them in the Southeast Division. That’s great news. Let’s party.
Anyways, we’ll be back here again Friday night, as the Capitals take on the Carolina Hurricanes. Until then, take care!
Bonus! Here’s Braden Holtby’s post-game interview with Al Koken.
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