This is a story about redemption. And Alex Ovechkin.
In the first period, the Washington Capitals’ captain had a glorious chance to score goal number thirty-nine (the same one he lost after his last-second game-tying tally was changed to Joel Ward Saturday afternoon).
As Troy Brouwer took out Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard in front of the net, Nicklas Backstrom sent a beautiful tape-to-tape pass to Ovechkin, who was hanging out in The Ovi Spot™. The net was wide open. The degree of difficulty was low. All Ovechkin had to do was send the puck home.
Instead, Ovi hit the puck with his stick slightly off-center, causing the vulcanized rubber to spin end-over-end. It dinged off the cross-bar. Ovi threw his head backwards in disgust.
“I was choking,” Ovechkin told the media after the game.
In overtime, however, the Russian machine was money. He got another opportunity from his prized spot on the ice — this time during a four-on-three power play. His one-timer beat Howard stick-side.
Ovechkin has goal number 39 back in his ledger. He also has 15 career game-winning overtime tallies, which is crazy.
There’s a reason why we call it Ovitime, guys. Ovechkin almost has the same number of OTGWGs as the leaders — in half as many games. The list reads as such: Jaromir Jagr (18 in 1,447 games), Patrick Elias (16 in 1,131 games), Mats Sundin (15 in 1,346 games), Sergei Fedorov (15 in 1,248 games), and then Ovechkin (15 in 653 games).
Ovechkin continues his reign of terrificness atop the NHL leader board for goals as well. He has a nine-goal lead over Phil Kessel in second place.
Redemption. (Photo: Alex Brandon)