Ovechkin Records Hat Trick in Season Opener

ovi.jpgWhat a way to kick off the new year! Alex Ovechkin recorded his 18th regular season career hat trick in Washington’s season-opening 5-4 shootout win in Ottawa on Thursday. All three of Ovi’s goals were at even strength, where Ovechkin only scored 17 goals last year.  It was his third hat trick against the Ottawa Senators.Trailing 3-1 after Derick Brassard struck 2:03 into the third period, Ovechkin showed strong leadership and tied the game with two goals a minute and 23 seconds apart. Forward Mark Stone took a 4-3 lead for the Senators 6:55 into the third period. Ovechkin then tied the game at 4 10:48 into the period. Evgeny Kuznetsov assisted on all three of Ovechkin’s goals and Jakub Vrana picked up assists on two of them. Ovechkin also scored a goal in the shootout before Kuznetsov won it for the Caps.

The Caps have won every game the captain has scored a hat trick in.

The Hat Trick came on the anniversary of Alex Ovechkin’s NHL debut in 2005. He scored his first two goals of his NHL career in his first career game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The hat trick was the third by an NHL player this season after Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers scored hat tricks last night. McDavid scored three goals in the Oiler’s 3-0 win against the Calgary Flames and Simmonds in the Flyers 5-3 win at the San Jose Sharks last night.

After finishing with 33 goals last season, his fewest in a non-lockout year, Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan said that Ovechkin needed to change the way he trains. The captain’s goal dropped from 50 to 33 last season. The Capitals need more of this from Ovechkin after 48 goals walked out of the door with the departure of Justin Williams and Marcus Johansson in the offseason.

The Capitals will take on Montreal in the club’s home opener on Saturday.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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