February 22, 2020

Washington Capitals Game 32 Recap: Ovechkin provides exclamation point in whitewash of Devils

It was a sleepy game to start in New Jersey, but Alex Ovechkin opened everyone’s eyes in the third period with a highlight reel goal to finish off the Devils.

All the big guns were firing for the Washington Capitals on Saturday as Ovechkin and Mike Green both tallied once and Nicklas Backstrom added another two goals to down the New Jersey Devils 4-0.

One point for Ovechkin may not jump out of the box score at you, but the Great 8 had a fantastic night, bedeviling the defense at every turn. He had fives shots on goal and two more than hit off the post. He also emphatically brought a four-game goalless streak to an end in the third period with a vintage Ovechkin goal you had to see to believe.

Ovechkin took the puck at center ice down the right side where he was challenged by defenseman Jon Merrill with Travis Zajac coming in on the backcheck. Ovechkin deked through his own legs to get between both players, then as he was falling to the ice, beat Cory Schneider blocker-side with the backhand to the top shelf.

Whatever life the Devils had left was sucked out of them and the building as Ovechkin put the good guys up 3-0 and the Caps were able to cruise to the finish line.

As pretty as the goal was, however, it was merely the exclamation point of a team effort that suffocated New Jersey for sixty minutes. Braden Holtby looked like he barely broke a sweat turning aside 21 shots for his second shutout of the season.

Green opened up the scoring in the second period hitting the top shelf through a Troy Brouwer screen that left Schneider helpless. Backstrom added a second goal later in the period. Jay Beagle caught the Devils on a line change and streaked into the offensive zone. With all eyes on him, he found Backstrom with a drop pass and who wristed it into the back of the net.

With this win the Caps improved to 6-1-2 in the month of December. They have not been beaten in regulation since Dec. 2. They are also 8-1-2 against Metropolitan Division opponents on the season.

Good teams are able to put away the teams they should beat without much trouble and on Saturday, the Caps looked like a good team.

About J.J. Regan

J.J. Regan is a contributor to District Sports Page. He also is a college football and NHL blogger for CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com and has a master's degree in interactive journalism from American University. Regan follows all DC sports but focuses mainly on the the Caps and college football. You can view his online portfolio at regansports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheDC_Sportsguy.

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