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.

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

It was an unlikely game. The Capitals dominated the Islanders for most of the hour, but were without a goal until Troy Brouwer finally beat Nabokov in the waning minutes of the third. Brouwer pulled through again in the final minute of regulation, and then we were treated to a sight we haven’t seen enough of lately.

Alex Ovechkin, who extended his Washington Capitals OTGWG franchise record to 11, carried the puck across neutral, skated to the center lane, used New York’s Travis Hamonic as a screen, and scored the game-winner through Nabokov’s five-hole. Video is below the jump.

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