The Alexander Ovechkin of former years, you know, the one that scored gobs and gobs of goals, well, he is surely back. Ovechkin scored two goals yesterday to help lead the Caps to a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning and to lift them to sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division. The surging Caps remain undefeated in April, at 4-0, and have won 8 out of their last 10 to surge to a 2 point lead over the Winnipeg Jets in the Southeast Division.
As for Ovechkin, you can count it a 5 goal weekend. One day after scoring a hat trick against the Florida Panthers, Ovechkin put two more markers on the box score, scoring an equalizer in the second period and an empty netter at the end of the game. The once left for dead Ovechkin now is tied for first overall in the NHL with 25 goals, tied with Tampa's Steven Stamkos. He also continues moving up the leader board in overall points, now resting at sixth overall in points. Ovechkin's tear goes way past a 5 goal weekend romp. He has scored 7 goals in four games in the month of April. Of the four games, three of them were multi-goal games. He has scored 15 goals in his last 12 games and out of those 12 games, he has a goal or more in ten of those games.
Ovechkin's marker in the second period tied the game up at 1-1 after a first period goal by Vincent Lecavalier gave the Lighting a 1-0 lead after the first period. Ovechkin's tally was assisted by Jack Hillen and Nicklas Backstrom. Speaking of hot players, how about Nicklas Backstrom. In the four games in April, Backstrom has recorded 9 assists and has 3 goals and 13 assists in his last 10 games. The fact the one-two punch of Ovechkin and Backstrom have went on a tear is the critical cog of the surging Washington Capitals. After Tamps took a 2-1 lead on a Alex Killorn goal, John Carlson blasted a rocket past Tampa's goalie Ben Bishop to knot the game at 2-2 in the second period. Carlson's blast was assisted by Joel Ward and Hillen. The Caps would take a 3-2 lead in the the second intermission after Joel Ward charged the net and scored his 8th tally of the season. His marker was helped by Mathieu Perreault and Jason Chimera.
The only goal of the final period came with 5 seconds left in the game when Ovechkin scored with an empty Tampa Bay net. It was his 25th of the season and moved him into a tie with Stamkos for the NHL lead in goals.
Kuydos goes out to a well played game by net minder Michal Neuvirth. Neuvirth started his first game since March 16, giving a much needed break to starter Barden Holtby. Nuevirth stopped 28 of 30 shots and made some tough, bail out saves to help preserve the Caps win.
The win moves the Caps to 20-17-2 with 42 points, 2 points ahead of Winnipeg.
Jack Hillen, 2 assists
Alex Ovechkin, 2 goals
Joel Ward, 1 goal, 1 assistno comments