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.
“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.