Photo: Patrick McDermott
Missing one of the league’s best shooters in Steven Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning might look weak to some. Their goal totals in recent games haven’t exactly been terrifying. And yet, the Bolts found a way to thoroughly exploit the Capitals in the first twenty minutes of Tuesday’s game. One individual Capitals performance was at fault for a lot of that trouble, but where one falters, another steps up. Alex Ovechkin put together one of his best games ever to hoist his team into– not just a close game– but one of the most exciting in recent history.
First, Mike Green committed a penalty and the Lightning scored. Then, Mike Green committed a penalty and the Lightning scored. Then, in a Shyamalany plot twist, Mike Green was on-ice when the Lightning scored. Holtby was like, “Sick of you, Mike,” and he peaced out; Grubauer in. Alex Ovechkin put the team on the board with an instant-score following a faceoff.
Okay, buckle up. Here we go.
Troy Brouwer proved unable, so Nick Backstrom finished off the powerplay for him. Then, Alex Ovechkin happened. After Richard Panik earned a 5-minute major for boarding Karl Alzner, the Russian machine made Tampa pay. Twice. First, he laid up a cross-ice pass from Marcus Johansson, then he took a one-timer from Green to tie the game. Hats rained down. Another three-goal second period for the Washington Capitals.
Ondrej Palat put the Bolts back up in the third, taking advantage of some observational Capitals defense, but the Caps weren’t done. With the Caps net empty, Alex Ovechkin struck again, scoring his 4th goal of the night. HIS
FOURTH FOARTH GOAL OF THE NIGHT.
Overtime proved unable to decide the game, and thus:
Caps beat Bolts 6-5 in the shootout. EPIC COMEBACK! AND HOW ABOUT THAT ALEX OVECHKIN?!
And then there was Alex Ovechkin.
The Captain. The league leader in goals. The franchise leader in power-play goals. The best smile on the team. The only reason the Caps were ever in this game.
Four goals. Four freaking goals. He hadn’t done that since Jan. 31, 2008. God bless.
It’s a privilege to watch that guy work. Tonight, hefting the team on his shoulder and carrying them out of the pit, Ovi earned individual honors– a hat trick and franchise record– but he did it all for the team.
That team and its alumni came together to congratulate Ovechkin for the milestone:
This was a special one. Remember at 7:20 PM when you thought this was a burn-the-tape kind of night? Haha. No. This is a career-caliber, highlight-reel game that people will talk about for decades.
“Remember that time Mike Green put the Caps in a three-goal hole, and then Alex Ovechkin spat in the dust, said, nyet, and unleashed the goddamn fury?” That was tonight. That was this night.
We’re supposed to revert our Twitter avatar back to the Ovi pic at midnight tonight. I think, in deference to what happened tonight, we’ll push it up a few hours.
Two standings points don’t come close to describing how important this one was.
Let’s dance. Is disco now.
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