Ted Leonsis, the Washington Capitals’ gregarious owner, is almost always at the Verizon Center for home games. Tuesday was no different, as he and his son Zach took their usual seats in the Owner’s Box.
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With 33 seconds left in the third period, the Washington Capitals trailed the Tampa Bay Lighning 5-4. They needed a hero. Enter Alex Ovechkin, already with three goals to his name, to save the day. Again.
As John Carlson slid a cross-ice pass to Ovechkin near The Ovi Spot™, the Russian machine winded up with all his might and fired. He somehow found a hole next to Ben Bishop and tied the game.
On December 10, 2013, In Game Recap, By Peter Hassett
Photo: Patrick McDermott
Missing one of the league’s best shooters in Steven Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning might look weak to some. Their goal totals in recent games haven’t exactly been terrifying. And yet, the Bolts found a way to thoroughly exploit the Capitals in the first twenty minutes of Tuesday’s game. One individual Capitals performance was at fault for a lot of that trouble, but where one falters, another steps up. Alex Ovechkin put together one of his best games ever to hoist his team into– not just a close game– but one of the most exciting in recent history.
First, Mike Green committed a penalty and the Lightning scored. Then, Mike Green committed a penalty and the Lightning scored. Then, in a Shyamalany plot twist, Mike Green was on-ice when the Lightning scored. Holtby was like, “Sick of you, Mike,” and he peaced out; Grubauer in. Alex Ovechkin put the team on the board with an instant-score following a faceoff.
Okay, buckle up. Here we go.
Troy Brouwer proved unable, so Nick Backstrom finished off the powerplay for him. Then, Alex Ovechkin happened. After Richard Panik earned a 5-minute major for boarding Karl Alzner, the Russian machine made Tampa pay. Twice. First, he laid up a cross-ice pass from Marcus Johansson, then he took a one-timer from Green to tie the game. Hats rained down. Another three-goal second period for the Washington Capitals.
Ondrej Palat put the Bolts back up in the third, taking advantage of some observational Capitals defense, but the Caps weren’t done. With the Caps net empty, Alex Ovechkin struck again, scoring his 4th goal of the night. HIS FOURTH FOARTH GOAL OF THE NIGHT.
Overtime proved unable to decide the game, and thus:
Eric Fehr scores and didn’t even crack a smile.
Filppula was denied.
The puck rolled on Ovi, who didn’t get greedy.
Kucherov tucked it past Grubauer.
Backy’s puck hit the post and bounced out.
Grubi pokechecked the hell out of Martin St Louis.
Grabo’s grab bag of tricks is deep, and he converts.
Teddy Purcell roofed it to keep the shootout going.
Troy Brouwer redeemed with a roofer!
Caps beat Bolts 6-5 in the shootout. EPIC COMEBACK! AND HOW ABOUT THAT ALEX OVECHKIN?!
Mike Greenwas terrible tonight, but luckily for the Washington Capitals, captain Alex Ovechkin, was not. Ovi recorded the 13th hat trick of his career to lead his team to an improbable comeback in the second period. He then added a fourth goal in third period to force overtime. Ovi, the league leader in goals, now has 26 goals on the season. He is six ahead of second-place Corey Perry and Alex Steen. He has 49 goals in his last 52 games. He is amazing.
Also, Ovi’s two power-play goals in the second stanza put him at 138 in his career, making him the Capitals franchise leader, leap-frogging one of my favorite players as a kid, Peter Bondra.
Late in the second period, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin checked New York Rangers forward Rick Nash hard against the boards. Nash apparently didn’t like that too much, because as Ovechkin skated away, he hooked him in the skates.
Alex Ovechkin has fired 91 shots during 5-on-5. He’s scored 11 goals for a solid 12.08% shooting. But while he’s on the ice, other Caps have fired 133 shots, resulting in just one goal. One. That’s 00.75% shooting. Wow.