December 15, 2017

Washington Capitals Game 41 Recap: Never say never; Caps win in OT against Rangers

BACKSTROM TIES IT WITH 5 SECONDS LEFT, OVECHKIN WINS IT IN OT WITH NO. 499

Career goal No. 499 could not have come at a better time for Alexander Ovechkin. Heading into an unexpected overtime, Ovechkin grabbed the puck after a fantastic save sequence by Braden Holtby and Nate Schmidt in the defensive end. Ovechkin skated the length of the ice with a head of steam to fire a snapshot right past Henrik Lundqvist for the game-winner, a 4-3 decision over the New York Rangers, in a wild one.

When the Capitals (31-7-3) and Rangers (22-14-5)  meet, it is usually anything but leisurely. Today was no different, with the Rangers stampeding back from a two-goal deficit in the third to take a 3-2 lead with just under seven minutes remaining.

Ovechkin got things started with his 498th goal by swiping a bad feed from Dan Girardi past Lundqvist with 14 seconds left in the first period. In the second, Justin Williams snuck one in off a breakaway, with the puck trickling in off of Lundqvist’s pads as the goalie lay prone.

But the Rangers never make it easy, and in less than seven minutes in the third period they turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Oscar Lindberg got the Rangers going against the Caps’ fourth line, which was unable to clear the puck despite several chances. Less than five minutes later, the Caps surrendered the tying tally to Kevin Hayes, immediately after a toothless power play. The last of the three came at the 13:11 mark when Viktor Stalberg tipped in a Keith Yandle shot from the blue line.

The Caps, however, would not quit. With Holtby pulled and five seconds left in regulation, Nicklas Backstrom posted up in front of Lundqvist. Justin Williams shot the puck to Backstrom, who sent a backhand to the back of the net. It was his second goal to tie a game with under 10 seconds left this year.

Ovechkin’s overtime game winner was his 499th goal in exactly 800 games. With his next goal, Ovechkin will have three games to become the fifth-fastest player in NHL history to reach that mark. On the other side, Lundqvist has now given up the most goals to Ovechkin (20) in the regular season of all active NHL goalies.

NEXT GAME: The Caps make a quick turnaround stop at home tomorrow night at 7pm facing the Ottawa Senators

CAPS NOTES:

  • The Washington Capitals are only the sixth team all-time to have 30 wins in the first 40 games of a season.
  • Braden Holtby tied Don Beaupre (128) for third on the Capitals franchise wins list.
  • Holtby also extended his personal game points streak to 19 games.
  • Paul Carey played in his first NHL game.
  • Caps continue their streak of not losing a game after leading thru two periods this years.
About Jacqueline Martin

Jacqueline Martin is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page. She grew up in Northern Virginia and has developed a deep love for all things sports and all things DC. While attending American University she worked for the athletics department and followed the Men’s NCAA Basketball team to their first ever apperance in the tourney. She is an aspiring journalist whose ideal day job is running a large DC sports bar that favored only DC teams. If she is not in her office you may find her at Kettler attempting to skate backwards. You can follow her on twitter @JacqueMMartin.

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