Photo credit: Chris O’Meara

For most of the year, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has skated on a line with super Swedes Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson. While Nicky and Mojo are talented players, they are at times too timid to shoot the puck themselves. While Ovechkin leads the league in goals, his five-on-five output could still be better.

That may be why Adam Oates got all surly and switched up the lines three games ago. Ovechkin now skates with Mikhail Grabovski and Eric Fehr, players who are a bit more aggressive. And that may be why, on Thursday night in Tampa, we saw a little more of Alex Ovechkin the playmaker.

Ovechkin assisted on Fehr’s first goal of the night, a beautiful snap shot that Grabo had to jump to avoid.

With 64 seconds left in the third period, Ovechkin found Fehr again, this time with a nifty pass through a Lightning player. Fehr would be stymied however by Anders Lindback.

“I wasn’t happy with the shot I got off there,” Fehr said to the media after the game. “I was pretty disappointed.”

Lucky for the Winkler, Manitoba native, he got another chance after the Caps won a face-off in the Lightning’s zone.

As Dmitry Orlov kept the puck in the zone, he passed to Mike Green who put a hard shot on net. Fehr, standing in the crease, deflected the puck past Lindback.

Game over.

“To be able to score [there], that’ll get me some rest tonight,” a smiling Fehr said of his game-winning goal. “I woulda stayed up on that other [miss].”

“These are the kinds of games that can be momentum builders,” Fehr continued. “It wasn’t the prettiest way to win it, but you know, scoring in the last couple minutes there, the team really rallied. You could see the excitement on the bench. Hopefully we can carry that into tomorrow.”

We shall see on Friday night, as the Caps host the Leafs.

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  • Ash

    Along with Ovi’s resurgence, Eric Fehr’s getting healthy, returning to the Capitals, and being a general boss is one of my favorite redemptive storylines.

  • Ovi, never change

  • dylan wheatley

    the grabo jump

  • Shaun Phillips

    Masterson trophy?

  • Shaun Phillips

    Love the Caps fans behind Fehr in the top photo.

  • VeggieTart

    How many would-be goals by Mike Green were “stolen” by other players? And wow, Fehr is just clutch. Hope he stays healthy.

  • Darla Doxstater

    Marjo in no way deserves the title “Super Swede.” He absolutely does not belong on a line with Ovi.

  • Todd N

    stolen? nah goalies might have saved it if it weren’t for the deflection

  • Shaun Phillips

    And the two lightning players behind him “Ahwww, isht”

  • Hockey mom

    Love 84’s jump to get out of the way!

  • Nick M

    I really didn’t like Oates’ new lines before the game, but after the action they kind of make sense. Nicky will hopefully boost Brooks’ and Brouwer’s offensive production while forcing him to shoot a little more, and Fehr will hopefully be that secondary scoring option on Ovi’s line that he’s needed this season (at least for the last 10 games or so).

    You could tell that Ovi was pretty comfortable setting up Fehr last night (more than once), so hopefully this trend continues as long as these lines stay. Ovi the set up man…sounds weird but I like it. This also opened the Gr8 up for a breakway and that frickin’ howitzer (thanks Joe B) off the post as the D was taken up by Fehr crashing hard to the net.

  • Myan

    Fehr is awesome. We’ve only won two 1-goal games in regulation this season and he scored the GWG in both. Against NYR he scored with about 5 mins left and last night with 50 seconds left. Talk about clutch.

  • Ben Reed

    Reason #3,486 why I love that man.

  • Matt

    Who was that that rent-a-center that was here last year? Thanks Grabby for making us forget