Photo: Gary Wiepert
For those wondering if Alex Ovechkin‘s “micro-bruise” was still bothering him, The Great Eight wants you to know he’s doing just fine. With two goals and two assists on Tuedsday– including Mike Green‘s game-winning overtime tally, Ovechkin delivered the Washington Capitals their first win of the season over the Eastern Conference powerhouse Buffalo Sabres.
Ovechkin now has 38 goals on the season, a lead of ten over second place Corey Perry despite missing several games to injury.
Tuesday also marked Ovechkin’s sixth two-goal game of the season. His four points tied his season high, which Ovi last accomplished with a hat trick plus one against Tampa Bay on December 10th, from which followed his most exuberant celebration in recent memory.
And how did Ovechkin score his four points tonight? Power and trickery, naturally.
In the first period, Ovechkin opened up scoring by taking a pass from Nicklas Backstrom (thanks to a Troy Brouwer face-off win) and blasting a shot past Jhonas Enroth from just outside the slot.
Ovechkin’s second goal (and his knees’ first of the night), came just 53 seconds later, after he redirected a Mike Green shot into the net.
Once Ovi got the Sabres’ attention with his goal-scoring, he began showing off his playmaking ability. Late in the second period, after Buffalo tied the game at three, Ovechkin sent a slick, cross-ice pass through two Sabres defenders to Martin Erat. Erat then hit Troy Brouwer in the slot to complete a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal.
Then in overtime, when everyone thought Ovi would shoot for the hat trick, the Russian machine stuck his tongue out and hit the even-more wide open Mike Green to score the game-winner.
YOU GUYS THEY CELEBRATED RIGHT IN FRONT OF US pic.twitter.com/f9J2J5IQ8M
— steph (@carrotbazooka) January 29, 2014
A great game for Ovechkin and a mostly terrible night for everyone else.
If Ovechkin’s teammates were playing better, Ovi would be a leader to win his fourth career Hart trophy, his second in consecutive years. Unfortunately, wins over the Sabres are rare, and the Caps are currently sitting a few points outside of the 8th and final playoff spot in the East. Despite Ovi’s ten-goal lead over Corey Perry, Sidney Crosby’s 10-point lead in points carries more weight as the Pittsburgh Penguins run away with both the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference.
Regardless, this was another MVP night from Ovi. This team would be nowhere without him.