Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom scored in the shootout and Jose Thedore turned aside two shots to help the Caps pick up their third straight win. Oh, and that No. 8 guy had a pretty nice goal as well. Here are a few tidbits from the aftermath of a 4-3 victory:
* First, Ovechkin said he is OK after taking a shot off the top of his left foot. He did return to the game, but there was some pep in his step missing. He didn’t come out to address the media for a long time after the game while he was getting his foot checked out, but was given a clean bill of health. He will probably skip an optional practice tomororw, though.
* As for the actauly defining Ovechkin moment of the night, here is some reaction to another how-did-he do-that goal from No. 8:
“I’ve seen [Ovechkin’s famous goal against Phoenix] about 1,000 times on TV, but I thought that goal [tonight] was as amazing a goal as I have ever seen. To backhand it off the boards to himself in full stride and then beat [the goalie] … that’s a tremendous feat.” — Caps coach Bruce Boudreau
“I’d probably rank that one No. 2 [behind “The Goal]. He was on his back again, and he still has the hockey sense to stay with it and keep his head down on it. I thought it was pretty amazing.” — Caps forward David Steckel
“I just covered the bottom of the net like I’m supposed to because he’s sitting on his butt. Somehow he found a way to get the puck off the ice when he was sitting on his [butt]. … He’s a premier hockey player and athlete in sports and he does that stuff for a living.” — Montreal goalie Carey Price
As for Ovechkin’s spin-o-rama in the neutral zone?
“You have to try something new,” Ovechkin said. “Sometimes I try in practice, and [teammates] say, ‘What are you doing?’ Sometimes I just need to change my game and it is working.”
* Everyone is going to rush to a snap judgement about where to place this goal in Ovechkin’s decorated career. Here it is (that TSN ice-level camera is in a nice spot, isn’t it?) and here is his other all-world entry from earlier this season against Buffalo.
Personally, I think they are pretty close. And both probably took more actual skill than “The Goal,” but that was something no one has ever seen before (or is likely to see again).
As for some other stuff …
* Mike Green said he really couldn’t see anything out of his right eye when he shot the puck over the glass, which led to Montreal’s first goal. The puck hit his visor seconds before and knocked it into his eye. He was trying to get to the bench when the puck came to his side of the ice and he had to play it
* Shaone Morrisonn took the second penalty and it led to another goal, but it sure looked like he wasn’t getting much help out there during that shift. The Caps top line was smelling blood at that point with the team up 2-1 and Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom (and Green) were all looking to get the puck and go play offense. Problem was, the turnover didn’t happen and it left Morrisonn in what appeared to be a mini 3 or 4-on-1 and he took a hooking penalty in front of the net. Probably can’t fault him for that, though some fans probably will/did.
* The “F Street” line (Stretch Leonhardt’s idea, not mine) did not score a goal, but they were pretty effective again.
* Ovechkin now has a 10-game point streak, which is the longest active streak in the league.
* The Caps have won 23 games this games at Verizon Center this season. They won 23 games at the Phone Booth all last season.
* Jose Theodore, who made a couple of fantastic saves tonight and couldn’t be faulted for at least one of the PPGs if not two, is now 12-4 in his career in shootouts.
* Bruce Boudreau moved Sergei Fedorov to defense in the final 5 or 6 minutes trying to help create a tying goal, and he was back there when the Caps did force overtime. It wasn’t the top line or the second group (with Michael Nylander replacing Fedorov) that got the goal though. It was the new third group of Steckel, Boyd Gordon and Brooks Laich that did the trick.
Boudreau said the Canadiens were sagging back and his top six forwards kept trying to stickhandle through it, which just wasn’t working.
“[Laich] won the faceoff for me and I just spun off and went to the net,” Steckel said of his game-tying goal. “Tom [Poti] had a great shot – I thought our ‘D’ did a great job of getting pucks through tonight.”