It might have been a little closer than it needed to be at the end, but the Caps won for the second time in as many afternoons with a 7-4 defeat of the Ottawa Senators. Here are a few quick tidbits from the game (there is, after all a football game of some significance to me in a few hours):
* This weekend will be remembered when Alex Ovechkin locked up another Rocket Richard trophy. He collected his seventh career hat trick today and had five goals in about 25 hours. If there was an Ottawa player who couldn’t wait for the plane ride home, it was probably defenseman Filip Kuba, who had Ovechkin goals No. 2 and 3 go through his legs.
Interestingly, Ovechkin only finished with four shots on goal — he’s only had less than four in five games this season.
* The Caps needed seven seconds to score two power-play goals. While the numbers look good (2-for-5), Bruce Boudreau wasn’t really happy with the overall PP effort. Both goals came off face-offs and weren’t “real” extra-man goals. When the Caps didn’t win the first face-off, there three power plays were pretty unispired.
* Sergei Fedorov had three assists and won 8 of 12 face-offs. His third assist in particular was a nifty one.
* Eric Fehr has put in plenty of good work without the results of late, but he earned his first goal in 15 games by diving head-first toward the net for a rebound. That line (Fleischmann-Backstrom-Fehr) looked really good together again today.
* Mike Green is the best offensive defenseman in the league right now. Period. No debate. He’s got five goals and 14 points in the past nine games. He momentarily took sole possession of the NHL lead for points by a defenseman (Montreal’s Andrei Markov has pulled even and has a period to play still today. His 15 goals are tops among rearguards, which puts him on pace for 24 this season (imagine if he hadn’t missed 13 games).
His pass to Alexander Semin might have been the best of the season — that type of skill (on both ends of the play) cannot be taught.
* Another typical day in Semin’s Universe — he went to the bench during the 4-on-4 and the extra distance to change left Daniel Alfredsson wide open on Ottawa’s second goal, he took a hooking penalty in the offensive zone WHILE KILLING A PENALTY … and scored one of the top goals of the season. He was also a split-second from one or two others. Bruce Boudreau doesn’t have a lot of hair to pull on, but…
* The Caps pulled ahead of New Jersey for second place in the Eastern Conference. This game on Tuesday at the Rock has a lot more significance than it would have about a month ago, eh?