Alexander Ovechkin has reportedly been bothered by a wrist injury. It as been evidenced by icing of the wrist post-game. However, tonight, Ovechkin scored his 10th hat trick of his career to lead the Washington capitals past the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1. Ovechkin scored goals 17, 18, and 19, much needed offense for the Caps.
Rookie goalie Braden Holtby, making his second consecutive start for the injured Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth, stopped 35 of 36 shots to earn the win and improve to 4-2-1. Holtby made some super impressive saves that earned there spots on highlight reels.
Washington started out the scoring in the first period on a booming shot from Jeff Schultz that was deflected past goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere by Alex Ovechkin, for his first tally of the night, and a Caps 1-0 lead. The goal was assisted by Schultz and Nicklas Backstrom. Washington out shot Toronto 11-6 in the first period..
The Caps and Leaf skated to a scoreless second period. The Caps out shot the Leafs 12-11.
The third period witnessed 4 goals, 3-1 Caps. The first came at the 1:12 mark when Ovechkin took a bad rebound by Giguere and slapped it past him for his second of the night and a 2-0 Caps lead. Ovechkin's second goal was assisted by Mike Green and Jason Chimera. That two goal lead would last just over a minute when Tim Brent would score for the Leafs to cut the lead to 2-1. The thir dgoal was an impressive one. Matt Hendrick created a turnover and took a breakaway and faked out Jean-Sebastien Giguere and deked a goal past him to the left to give the Caps a 3-1 lead. Who would have ever thought Hendricks had such moves in his arsenal? It was Hendrick's 6th tally of the season and unassisted. Ovechkin's hat trick came on the empty net. Ovechkin's 19th goal also put him past Alexander Semin for the team lead.
Nicklas Backstrom, 2 assists
Alexander Ovechkin, 3 goals
DCPSR Player of the Game:
ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, Hat Trick, +3, 8 shots on goal
BRADEN HOLTBY, stopped 35 of 36 shots on net
Monday, 7:30PM, New York Rangers
The win for the Caps move them to 27-14-8 and to 62 standing points overall, 1 behind Tampa Bay. The win moves the Caps to within 2 of Pittsburgh and 5 of Philadelphia. The Caps have won two straight.
Nicklas Backstrom has a FIVE point scoring streak. He also has a FIVE game assist streak.
Jason Chimera has a FOUR point scoring streak.
Alexander Ovechkin has a THREE game scoring streak.