Designed by Ian Oland.
Alex Ovechkin is the Washington Capitals. He is the face of the team, and he’s the biggest piece of their offense. Coming into Friday game against Philadelphia, Ovechkin accounted for almost a third of the team’s goals (10 of 32). So when news broke that he would miss the Flyers game with a veiled upper-body injury, we wondered where the offense would come from. Friday it came from, well, everywhere as the Capitals dominated the Flyers 7-0.
Chiefly, it was Washington’s third line of Joel Ward, Mikhail Grabovski, and Jason Chimera providing the firepower, scoring four of the game’s seven goals. Ward, in his first career hat trick, notched three. All in all, members of the line registered an amazing 10 points in 60 minutes. Since being placed together on October 18th, the trio has been masterful, registering nine of the team’s 18 even-strength goals since Adam Oates’s line shuffling. That’s, like, half of them. Not bad for bottom-six guys.
Ward’s magisterial night started with a whack-a-mole tally on original Philly goalie Steve Mason. The play started with lovely move by Ward on Flyers center Brayden Schenn, who fell to the ice behind the net. Wardo then took the puck hard to the net as he and Grabovski attempt to tap it in. The goal was originally given to Grabo but was later changed to Ward. One down.
Next, Ward scored another one first thought to belong to Grabo. To start, Ward did sublime work along the boards to control the puck, before backhanding to Chimera. Chimera went fancy Russian on everybody, feeding a no-look pass to Grabovski. Naturally, Grabo made another no-look backhander to the open Ward. Snipe. Two down.
Finally, Ward flicked the puck in as he planted himself in front of the net on the power play. Seven-nil Caps. Three goals for Wardo. Hell yeah.
“We’ve just been rolling,” Ward told reporters after the game. “It was good feeling.”