Caps offense awakens, take down Sens 5-3
For the first time in his past 12 games, Alex Ovechkin found the back of the net for the Washington Capitals.
Amid one of the longest goal-scoring droughts of his career, the Capitals captain showed a glimpse of his insane skill with a highlight reel tally at 13:50 of the third period.
Jeff Halpern, Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer and John Carlson also scored as the Caps defeated the Ottawa Senators for the second time in the past week 5-3 on Wednesday night.
The Caps struck first on the road with Halpern's second period tally, but fell behind after goals from Eric Condra and Nick Foligno before the end of the period. The effort was there in the first as the Caps dominated play, outshooting the Sens 15-6, but had little to show for it.
The third period was something that could have spawned from the free-flowing '80's era of Wayne Gretzky and Co., with five goals.
The fun started with three goals from the Caps to begin the period to put Dale Hunter's team up 4-2. Then Milan Michalek's 17th goal of the season, tied for tops in the league, brought the Sens within one at 4-3 to setup a frantic finish. But John Carlson was able to find an empty net with 46 seconds left in the third to put the game on ice for the Caps 5-3.
But the best news for the Caps, other than the win of course, was the return of the Great 8. Ovechkin was flying all night, back with that signature buzz that hasn't quite been there lately. Anytime the puck was on his tape, he looked dangerous, which opened up chances for his line mates Nicklas Backstrom, who scored, and Alex Semin, who should have at least once.
Tomas Vokoun was very good in goal for the Caps, stopping 31 of 34 shots in earning his 11th win of the season. Vokoun though played second fiddle to Craig Anderson, who was spectacular in the Ottawa cage, stopping 39 of 43 shots. He kept the Sens in the game early, and a game that they had no business being in late.
3. Alexander Ovechkin: Great performance from a superstar in this league, could be a sign of more good things to come from the Great 8.
2. Craig Anderson: Stood on his head in the first and second periods, broke down late but kept his team in the game as long as he could.
1. Nicklas Backstrom: Just another ho-hum performance from the Caps only consistent offensive producer, the Swedish pivot notched a goal and an assist on the night, which get him No. 1 star honor in my book.
The Caps are back at it again on Friday when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL's second leading scorer and Phil Kessel at Verizon Center.