March 8, 2021

Washington Capitals Game 57 Recap: Ovechkin’s four-point night fuels Caps to a wild win

The Anaheim Ducks tried to jump on the Washington Capitals early, but Alex Ovechkin had other plans. The captain kept the Caps in it early with two first period goals and tacked on two assists to lead the Caps to the 5-3 win in Anaheim.

A crazy first period saw four penalties called and four goals scored. The Ducks took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 early in the first, but twice Ovechkin was there to tie it as the teams traded two goals apiece before 10:30 had passed. After a shaky start, backup goalie Justin Peters seemed to settle down allowing the Caps to take control in the second. He finished with 30 saves on 33 shots.

Marcus Johansson gave the Caps their first lead of the night in the second period and Andre Burakovsky scored twice. But the story was Ovechkin, who assisted on both of Burakovsky’s goals.

In the second, Ovechkin took a pass behind the defense and found Burakovsky open in the slot as both defensemen converged on the captain. Then in the third, protecting a 4-3 lead, Ovechkin stole the puck from Clayton Stoner to launch a 2-on-1. When Ben Lovejoy committed to Ovechkin, he passed it to a wide open Burakovsky, who netted his second goal of the night to ice it for the Caps.

Game notes:

  • Backup goalie Justin Peters improved his record to 3-5-1 with his first win since early November. After a very shaky first period, he played much better as the game went along. Rebound control was a problem again early, but by the game’s end, he seemed to be in control. What this may mean going forward is anyone’s guess. He did little to instill confidence with his poor start, but played well by the game’s end.
  • This game turned largely thanks to two injuries to the Ducks. Forward Matt Beleskey and defenseman Sami Vatanen both left the game early due to injury. Beleskey is the team’s second leading scorer with 21 goals and Vatanen is third on the team in ice time. Both are major contributors that Anaheim sorely missed. Losing even one of those players would have been a big loss. Losing both? That’s tough to recover from.
  • With his two goals, Ovechkin re-took the NHL goal scoring lead. He now has 36 goals, one ahead of the New York Rangers’ Rick Nash.
  • This was only the fourth time the Caps have faced former coach Bruce Boudreau. With tonight’s win, they are now 3-1 against their former bench boss.
  • With the win, the Caps have taken four points on their four-game road trip with only one game remaining. For a road trip to be considered successful, you would like to see the team finish with at least five out of a possible eight points. That goal is well within reach.
  • The Caps wrap up their longest road trip of the season on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. They have not allowed a goal to the Penguins this season in their two wins.
About J.J. Regan

J.J. Regan is a contributor to District Sports Page. He also is a college football and NHL blogger for and 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 Follow him on Twitter @TheDC_Sportsguy.


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