The combination of Capitals hockey and a 10:30 eastern start time often makes it difficult to stay awake for sixty minutes of West Coast hockey. But not tonight. A well-played first in which Brent Johnson kept the Caps in the game gave way to a second period that saw Alexander Ovechkin and the Mighty Ducks score twice each, and once El Ocho gets to two goals, everyone inches forward in their seats just a little bit more every time he touches the puck. After a scoreless third, the game headed to overtime where AO completed his first career hat trick and gave the Caps their first win of '06 in the process.
All three of Alex's goals were of the highlight-reel variety (teammate Jeff Friesen said of Ovechkin's night "That was the best performance I've ever seen, including guys I've played with and played against, by far."), and he added a crushing hit on Vitali Vishnevski for good measure (go here for video highlights - well worth a look). Not to be overlooked, however, are the play of Johnson in net and a relatively serious-looking leg injury to Steve Eminger, who was having one of his better games in a long time.
The WaPo's coverage is here. But for now, let's all bask in the glow of Alex Ovechkin's first career hat trick and sleep well knowing that he's only going to get better. By the way, there will be no Roundup tomorrow as Alex and I are heading up to Brokeback Mountain for the weekend. See you all on Monday.
Elsewhere around the League:
- Apparently Marty Lapointe was miked up for last night's Blackhawks/Pens game and captured the following humorous exchange (as relayed by someone on the Pens' message board):
Sidney Crosby: Why did you guys crosscheck me?If anyone can find video of this online, please let me know (and a tip of the cap to Wayland for the link).
Crosby: [Matthew] Barnaby crosschecked me!
Lapointe: C'mon we're playing a game relax [best guess at what Lapointe mumbled]
[Lapointe to Barnaby]:
Lapointe: Did you crosscheck Crosby?
Barnaby: No... who told you that?
Lapointe: He was whining about it to me.
Baranby: Oh, maybe I did.
- Hart: Alexander Ovechkin (3G, including OT game-winner, +2)
- Ross: Cory Stillman (3A)
- Norris: Kimmo Timonen (G, A)
- Vezina: Kari Lehtonen (37-save shutout win)
- Richard: Rod Brind'Amour, Martin Erat, Brian Gionta, Andy Hilbert (2G each)
- Calder: Alexander Ovechkin (3G, including OT game-winner, +2)
- Aiken: Scott Hartnell (thrown stick gives Carolina penalty shot in OT on which Frantisek Kaberle scored the game-winning goal)