Photo credit: Kim Klement

Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson has long struggled to be strong on the puck, but this year he has somehow become Mike Knuble incarnate along the boards and in the paint. I have no idea what changed.

During a late first period powerplay, Johansson exhibited his new grit, making Tampa pay for concentrating a wee too much on Alex Ovechkin.

As Nicklas Backstrom surveyed the ice near the right circle, he sent a tape-to-tape pass to Johansson near the crease. The 23-year-old Swede noticed that Tampa Bay Lightning forward B.J. Crombeen had turned his back completely, playing man-to-man on the Russian machine. Wide open, Johansson then spun towards the net and slammed the puck through Anders Lindback’s five-hole.

It’s not a spectacular goal, but this is exactly the stuff Mojo need to do to continue growing as a player.

Johansson has goals in back-to-back games (both on the power play), and seven goals overall on the season. With 29 points through 43 games, Johansson is on his way to beat his career high of 46 points in 2010-11. Marcus actually has an outside chance of scoring 60-plus points this season.

Good deal.

Tagged with:
  • LasagnaSonja

    You say its not a “spectacular” goal, but I quite like it. It was a heads up play, I love it!

  • Matt McNeely

    It finally worked!

  • Myan

    I like that Ovi is already taking a shot as soon as he turns away from Crombeen.

  • Graham Dumas

    I like this very, very much. Well done, Marcus!

  • Shaun Phillips

    Got a little lucky with lindback faking himself out and opening the 5-hole (seemed like he thought Mojo was going far post, kicking the right leg out). Would’ve liked to have seen Mojo with a bit more patience and possibly put the puck up and inside the far post, but it worked, so not too many complaints. 🙂

  • Simonezero

    Maybe not a spectacular goal but that powerplay was awesome. It was stellar, and I really don’t use that word.

  • Kait

    Not spectacular, no, but it’s quiet and it’s a damned smart move. Let Ovechkin distract the entire team (including, apparently, the goaltender) and weasel your way in there.