Alex Ovechkin and the Caps took on the Rangers this afternoon at Madison Square Garden. It was Ovechkin’s 800th NHL game, an impressive milestone in itself but he was also chasing another milestone, entering the game three goals shy of 500.
Ovechkin put the Capitals on the board just before the first period ended at 19:45 thanks to some miscues by Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. After Lundqvist made a stop on a shot by Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dan Girardi mishandled the puck behind the net and Ovechkin took advantage. He scored and put the Caps up 1-0. Girardi was trying to pass the puck to Dominic Moore but Ovechkin stole the puck and buried it in a wide-open net.
Justin Williams put the Capitals up 2-0 3:56 into the second period. Washington would carry a 2-0 lead into the second intermission. In the third period, the Rangers turned it on, scoring three straight goals to put the Capitals on the ropes. Down 3-2 late in the game, the Capitals needed to “Unleash the fury.” With the clock ticking, Justin Williams got a shot off, and Nicklas Backstrom rebounded the puck and put it right between Lundqvist’s legs to tie the game with 5.7 seconds left.
In overtime, Holtby made a crucial save on a shot by Derek Stephan off of his pads. The puck bounced off Holtby’s pads to Ovechkin and he took off. Going around his own net, he raced up the ice. He got around Rick Nash in the Ranger zone, cut to the middle, shot the puck and scored to give the Capitals the comeback win!
— NHL (@NHL) January 9, 2016
“It was a huge save by Holts. Thought it was over until I saw that he stopped the puck. Then I went full speed on the ice, saw Nash, used my speed to beat him one-on-one, made a move to the middle and put it in,” Alex Ovechkin told reporters after the game. “I think we deserved at least a point today but we got two (points). Good job by everybody and tomorrow’s a huge game.”
Tomorrow is a huge game as Ovechkin now sits at 499 goals, just one away from the 500th of his career. About a month ago, I wrote a story about his road to 500 goals where I took a look back at his career http://novacapsfans.com/2015/12/01/alex-ovechkins-road-to-500-goals/
Tomorrow night the Capitals return to Verizon Center to take on the Ottawa Senators. Fans will be rocking the red and hoping to see some history. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. and with six of the next eight at home, Ovechkin would love nothing more than to get his 500th goal in front of the hometown fans.
By Michael Marzzacco