- The Washington Times - Friday, May 15, 2009

BEST GOAL

(Tie) Alex Ovechkin, April 24 vs. Rangers

Ovechkin, Feb. 18 vs. Canadiens

Ovechkin, Dec. 26 vs. Sabres

Ovechkin has scored a bushel of highlight-reel goals in his four-year career, but these three would all probably rank as 2a, 2b, and 2c behind “The Goal” at Phoenix from his rookie season. Which one to choose? Maybe the one in the playoffs because of the stakes, or the one against Montreal because of the spin-o-rama, or the one against Buffalo for the overall package of skills he showed off. They’re all amazing and deserve recognition.



BEST SAVE

Simeon Varlamov, May 2 vs. Penguins

There can’t be any other choice. Sidney Crosby thought he had a sure goal when he slid a one-timer along the ice toward the middle of the goal, but Varlamov lunged back toward his cage and kept the puck out with the heel of his stick just as it was about to cross the goal line. Varlamov could make the Hall of Fame and not make a better save. Had the Caps won Game 7, this would have been the defining moment of the series.

BEST PASS

Mike Green to Alexander Semin, Feb. 1 vs. Senators

People call the Caps the most exciting team in hockey, and few plays symbolize their collective offensive awareness more than this pass Green made to Semin. Green had the puck in the middle of the ice, skating toward his own blue line, when Semin took off down the right side. Instead of trying to thread a pass through three guys, he flipped it over them like a quarterback hitting a receiver with a go route. Semin finished the play with a nifty backhand goal, and the Senators still don’t know what happened.

BEST GAME

Eastern Conference semifinals, Game 6, May 11 vs. Penguins

Coming back from a 4-0 deficit in December at Madison Square Garden was nice, but just about any of the first six games in this series could qualify here. This one, in which David Steckel tipped home the winner in overtime at Mellon Arena, edges out the dueling hat tricks from Ovechkin and Crosby in Game 2. Three lead changes, a late goal from Crosby to force overtime, great saves from Varlamov — this game had it all.

- Corey Masisak

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