Photo: Robert Mayer
He also got two assists. Three-point night for the Great Eight. Deal with it.
Ovi played the role of play-maker first, hitting new linemate Brooks Laich with a beautiful pass in the first period. It was just Ovechkin’s 7th even-strength assist of the season.
“[I] saw Thomas wait too far,” Ovechkin said to the media after the game. “Brooksy’s [defenseman] goes to the middle and he was wide open. So I just give it to him and nice shot.” That pretty much sums it up.
Next, Ovechkin nearly scored a goal of his own during a second-period power play. After taking a cross-ice pass from Nicklas Backstrom, Ovechkin one-timed a shot from The Ovi Spot. Tim Thomas came up with the initial save, but the puck squirted through and sat in the crease. Troy Brouwer potted the rebound.
Finally, in the third, Ovechkin actually scored. As Laich attacked the Panthers net, he returned the favor, hitting Ovechkin with his own beautiful cross-ice pass. Detecting a theme yet?
Ovechkin hit the one-timer and kissed his glove for the first time in weeks. This is how I scored all my goals in NHL 98.
That’s Ovi’s 41st goal of the season and the 412th of his career.
Ovechkin has a 9-goal lead over Phil Kessel for the league-lead.
In conclusion, this was a pretty good night for Ovechkin, considering that his normal linemate, Marcus Johansson, did not suit up due to jet lag. I kinda like the Laich-Backstrom-Ovechkin line. Who woulda thought?