Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom made it rain hats tonight. Nicky scored the first regular-season hat trick of his career and the Caps’ first natural hat trick since Alex Semin did it in 2010. Backstrom’s only other hatty came against the Habs in the 2010 playoffs (OMG DONT REMIND ME).
A few years ago, Polish-born forward Wojtek Wolski came to the Washington Capitals as a reclamation project. Instead of becoming a permanent member in the team’s top six, he became a permanent denizen of Adam Oates’s doghouse and left for the KHL. Since then, he has had some success with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod.
And by success I mean setting insane records. Today Wolski set the KHL record for the fastest hat trick ever. He did it pretty fast.
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!
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