Photo credit: Geoff Burke
Mike Green was 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.
And now, why the hats flew.
Photo: Glenn Gervais
Washington Capitals first-round pick Andre Burakovsky has been on a roll lately. With an eight-game point-scoring streak, the 18-year-old Swede is now tied for ninth in the OHL in goals (15) and tied for 18th in points (25).
In Sunday night’s 7-1 thumping of the Sarnia Sting, the crafty winger scored three goals for his first career hat trick in the OHL. With one more goal in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over the Oshawa Generals, that’s a four-goal weekend. Burakovsky also scored the game-winner in both games, giving him a league-leading five GWGs on the year. That’s remarkable.
Maria with her Slapshot stuffed animal. Dad gives thumbs up. (GIF by welshhockeyfan)
Attending Saturday’s Washington Capitals game, Alex Ovechkin’s fiancée Maria Kirilenko got a special treat. Ovi scored a hatty for the first time in over two years.
While CSN Washington didn’t pan to Kirilenko sitting in the lower bowl, the Devils broadcast on MSG drank from the Ovi-Kirilenko well a lot. They zoomed in on her celebrating with Ovi’s father Mikhail (giving the thumbs up) after Ovechkin’s third goal. MSG’s Deb Placey interviewed Kirilenko during the second period, after Ovi scored his first goal of the night.
“YESSSSSHHHH” (Photo via @lifesamixtape)
The Washington Capitals played their most complete game of the season, defeating the New Jersey Devils 5-1. Their Russian captain played a big part in that.
Alex Ovechkin, using solid positioning and system play, scored his first hat trick since December 1, 2012, and his first NHL hatty since January 22, 2011 against Toronto.
Now let’s see this video.
Ovi celebrates his first of three goals.
On Saturday, Alex Ovechkin broke out for three goals against the 7th-worst team in the KHL, Donbass Donetsk. It was Ovi’s first hat trick since January 22, 2011, and his first ever in which nobody threw headwear on the ice. His three-point game also knocked him up into the KHL’s top ten in points for the first time all season.
While Ovi’s awesome accomplishment happened a million miles away from DC in Ukraine *sigh* we as Capitals fans still must celebrate this hatty as our own. And what’s the best way to do so, you ask? GIFs!
Photo credit: Mitchell Layton
When we went to bed on Friday, Dennis Wideman was the possessor of a hat trick. His three-goal night versus Toronto was the first by a defenseman for the Caps in a decade, the first overall by the Caps this season, and the first of Dennis’ career. It was also the first 3 PPG game among defensemen in the NHL since 2006.
This morning, the NHL updated the game’s scoring (via WaPo’s Katie Carrera), giving that final power play goal to Brooks Laich for his 7th on the season. Nick Backstrom loses his secondary assist, knocking him down to 31 points.
Wideman still takes from the night four power play points (2G, 2A) and the first multi-goal game of his career, but all those hats you threw on the ice are now a fraud. And he’s still minus-1 on the night. Dennis admitted as much on Friday night, but you should still blame it all on stupid old Brooksy.
Alex Semin’s raspberry of hatful determination. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)
You know that video game where you fight Dr. Wily, and you think you’ve got him beat, but then he gets some kind of high-tech armor with lasers and rockets and WiFi and megagigabytes. Turns out Wily is way harder when he’s all upgraded. Well, here comes the Tampa Bay Cyber-Lightning, Mark II. Our southeast conference rivals gave the Washington Capitals a hard time last year, and they only got better over the summer.
The Capitals, led by curio Alex Semin, had a slow start. As if predestined, they surrendered the first goal of the night to Tampa’s Teddy Purcell. Tom Poti and Mike Knuble each notched goals in the second. The third period found Ryan Malone tying the game on the power play, almost taunting the Capitals to step it up. And step it up they did. Alex Semin recorded back-to-back goals with matching assists from line partners Nick Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Steven Stamkos returned fire with a frighteningly smart goal, but Ovechkin would strike soon after. An empty net goal in the final half minute earned Semin the hat trick and finalized the question. A crushing win by the home team, their sixth in a row: Caps beat Bolts 6-3.
The hat-tricker and the catalyst celebrate their line’s third goal of the night. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)
As the Capitals entered tonight’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Semyon Varlamov could not make his scheduled start due to a flame-up of his #brittlegroin. Caps regulars Boyd Gordon (rest) and Marcus Johansson (hip flexor) could not dress due to nagging pains. And Tom Poti was a late scratch with an undisclosed injury.
The Caps, who had just lost two straight games to the Boston Bruins rather unimpressively, were forced to go with a patch-work lineup which included minor league call-ups Mathieu Perreault, Jay Beagle, & Dany Sabourin as well as a not-at-full-strength Mike Green.
When the puck dropped and the first period came to a close, the Capitals resembled the same struggling team that had lost Tuesday and Thursday. They were down 1-0 and the Thrashers outshot them 13-4..
Things quickly got rectified in the Caps lockerroom, however. “Kanoobs had a little speech,” Michal Neuvirth explained post-game. “[After his talk] we were getting better every minute. …We dominated in the third period. He just wasn’t happy with our effort. …We’re getting outshot on home ice. It just can’t happen.”
The Capitals then came out and outshot Atlanta 40 to 14 the rest of the game. Riding an Alex Semin natural hat trick, two assists from fan-favorite Mathieu Perreault, and a clutch backhand gwg from Flash, the Caps trash the Thrash in OT, 4-3.
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