Alex Ovechkin’s Hustle On The Backcheck Sets Up Capitals Second Goal Against Penguins

The Capitals turned in their most complete effort of the season in last night’s 3-1 win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh. There were no serious gaps in play, with the team battling for 60-minutes. As a result, the Capitals put an end to their four-game losing skid.

Last night’s game also included an eye-popping sequence midway through the second period that resulted in the Capitals stretching their lead to 2-0. The play was ignited by the Capitals captain, Alex Ovechkin.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s step though the sequence.

The Capitals were pressing in front of the Penguins goal when Ovechkin attempted to go top shelf with a between-the-legs shot. This was no showboat move. It was really the only shot he had. His shot would just miss the cross bar and hit Nicklas Backstrom in the visor.

The play would quickly go the other way with the Penguins developing a two-on-one rush against John Carlson, who was guarding the middle of the ice. The Penguins Pierre-Oliver Joseph, who was just released from the penalty box, attempted a cross-ice pass to a seemingly wide-open Brandon Tanev.

Somehow Ovechkin caught up to the play and slid through the passing lane, breaking up the Penguins cross-ice pass. Remember, Ovechkin started the Penguins rush from behind the Penguins goal.

TJ Oshie would quickly gather the puck after Ovechkin’s stop and make a nifty outlet pass off the boards to Nicklas Backstrom, who would take the puck up through center ice and eventually dish it back to Oshie just inside the blueline. Oshie would skate a few strides up the left-wing wall and then fire a backhanded laser across the ice to a wide open Jakub Vrána who would bury his shot in the back of the net.

One more time:

Vrana’ s shot was a beauty, only to be topped by Oshie’s backhanded cross-ice feed through the Penguins defense. But it was Ovechkin that would make the save on a potential game-tying tally that really set the play in motion. A huge turning point in the game.

The Capitals will return to the ice Thursday night when they host the Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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5 Responses to Alex Ovechkin’s Hustle On The Backcheck Sets Up Capitals Second Goal Against Penguins

  1. Anonymous says:

    Crazy 30 seconds of hockey. Unbelievable

  2. Marky says:

    on the goal right after I mean.

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