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Caps 4, Canadiens 3 SO

First things first. If you haven't seen Alex Ovechkin's goal from the first period of this game, go watch it. Even if you have seen it, watch it again for fun.

The Caps' left winger seems able to consistently out do himself with implausible goals, but perhaps the most remarkable part of this play was how he banked the puck off the boards and pirouetted around Montreal defenseman Roman Hamrlik before he headed toward the net.

"It's instinct," said Ovechkin, who jokingly called it a normal goal but ranked it in his top 10. "If I didn't turn around my back it's going to be hit. I just tried to push puck forward, try to turn around, go to the net and score."

"You have to try something new," Ovechkin added about the play at the center ice. "Sometimes I try in practice and people say what are you doing? Sometimes I need to changed it and it's working. It was an important game for us, an important goal especially when they score right on power play."

Said Nicklas Backstrom: "I saw it on the replay it was a sick, sick move. I think the first thing he was doing against the D was more spectacular than the goal."

*I'm not sure if it was shown on any of the telecasts of the game, but after roughly the fifth replay of the goal Ovechkin was shown on the video board. He put his hand to his ear, encouraging the Verizon Center crowd to stay loud.

"I didn't understand the fans," Ovechkin said. "They were screaming and after they're just like okay here we go again game. C'mon guys."

On to the rest of tonight's notes and quotes...

*A shot ricocheted off Ovechkin's left foot in the third period and his foot was noticeably swollen, but he said he would be okay. He did add that he probably wouldn't participate in tomorrow morning's optional practice.

*Ovechkin has recorded at least one point in the last 10 games (11g, 5a) -- the longest active streak in the NHL -- to tie his own career points streak. He has 29 goals and 40 points in his last 30 games.

*Backstrom had a nice goal of his own in regulation on a give-and-go with Sergei Fedorov on the power play and said the Caps were trying to use more guys down low with the man advantage, rather than keeping three skaters high like they often do. It was just his second goal in the past 17 games.

*Backstrom's other key tally came in just his fourth-career appearance in the shootout as he beat Price blocker side. He is 2-4 all time in shootouts.

"I like the lower blocker side," Backstrom said. "It was open and I had time to get it there. I was trying to go to the left a little bit first he was too so then I went right. It was a good goal."

*Alexander Semin had the Caps other goal in the shootout and is now 7 for 21 all time in shootouts. It was his first game-deciding shootout goal of the season, the fourth of his career.

*The game was a little disjointed though. The Caps came out hard early in the game but was unable to score the first goal, and after a flurry of chances and four goals in the first period both teams seemed to slow down a bit.

"We had a lot of energy in the first period we played with the puck deep in their zones there were chances for them and us back and forth," Backstrom said. "I don't know though, the second and third was slow for our side."

*David Steckel deflected Tom Poti's shot from the point to record just his second goal out of his past 16 games to tie the score at 3-3 with under three minutes remaining in regulation.

"It doesn't compare really (to Ovechkin's)", Steckel said. "I was on the face-off and just spun off and went to the net and Tom had a great shot. I thought our D did a great job to get pucks through tonight and when they couldn't they got it behind the net."

*Poti's assist was his first point since Dec. 18.

*Washington gave up three power play goals for the fourth time this season as all of the Canadiens goals came with the man advantage. The last time the Caps gave up a trio of power play goals was Jan. 20 against Ottawa.

*The Caps tied their home win total from last season tonight and are 23-4-1 at Verizon Center this year. They've won 12 consecutive games at home against Eastern Conference opponents.

By Katie Carrera  |  February 18, 2009; 11:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

where is everyone?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 18, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

first?
ovechkin was beast!

Posted by: lovecaps28 | February 18, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

...watching Ovi's goal on youtube over and over again...

Posted by: Matt_L | February 18, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

What happened? I missed it.

Posted by: griz0615 | February 18, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Kidding, I was there.

Posted by: griz0615 | February 18, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

The OV goal shocked me as I saw it live I was in disbelief for minutes after it happened. I'm so glad I went to the game!

Posted by: Bagher | February 19, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

from previous thread:
My playoff picks in the East:

1. Boston
2. Washington
3. New Jersey/Philly
4. Philly/New Jersey
5. Florida/Montreal
6. Montreal/Florida
7. Buffalo
8. Pittsburgh

I somehow think Montreal will right the ship. I think the Rangers will go down in flames. I really think Carolina will overtake the Rangers as well but I think the Pens have just enough to squeak in as the #8 seed at the wire. Florida is for real and if they get the #5 seed and face off against NJ in the first round I think they could steal it.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 18, 2009 11:49 PM


@Davethecapsfan:
but you are rooting for both phi and pitt miss out - right?
we can all now pull for mtl in their next game

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 19, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

"I think the first thing he was doing against the D was more spectacular than the goal."

Yep. Hamrlik is still picking his jock up. Was shaking my head for awhile even after seeing a million jumbotron replays. Nice to get the two points on an off night collectively.

Posted by: Section117 | February 19, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

My excitement over the game on Sunday is reaching fever pitch. My professor actually asked me what I was grinning about today in class. What can I say? I follow a team worth cheesing over.

Are any of you other ladies going to Hockey 'n Heels on Saturday?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 19, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

irockthered:
sorry to hear that. my daughter is worried about the same thing for her here in AZ with educational budget cuts coming for the next school year.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 19, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

From previous post

@steveo

Ditto...was a PRIVILEGE to see that goal tonight by Ovie

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 19, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

OMG!!!! How much fun was that?!? I literally did not believe that Ovi's goal went in even though it was practically right in front of me. We were speechless ... it was cra-zy! And then with six minutes left to go Mr. Boo said, "This game is over." I said, "No way. A lot can happy in six minutes of hockey ... they'll probably score on a faceoff." TA DA!!! (Guess I should say that more often?!?) After that Backstrom's beauty of a goal was just icing on the cake (I don't think Price even saw it for a second - it just flew off of his stick). I'm ready for more - Friday can't get here fast enough!!

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 19, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't think I was able to say anything other than Wow for about five minutes.

OV's reaction to them showing him on the jumbotron was hilarious.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | February 19, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

So, no word on where Juice was in the last half or more of the 3rd. We all saw Feds playing some D. I thought it was just Bruce going after some more O, but then I saw all the other D except MJ23.

Also, a 2 point night with giving MON a point is the Best thing for Caps fans. Infact, any game vs an east team that is ahead of Pitt, giving them a point is OK in my book. Just makes the Pens have to work that much harder.

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 19, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Boo:
sounds like you need to keep enough positive energy for both you and Mr Boo. does he not remember the nyr game just before the holidays?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 19, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Whee! That was fun - closer than I liked but a good game. VC was quieter than usual tonight.

- Hey guys, Schultz was probably our best Dman on the ice tonight. I think I saw him out of position once, and while he got beat once or twice, I swear he lets the guy beat him then fouls him and the puck up both - legally. I saw him make several slick plays and breakout passes to get the puck out, and he was the ONLY Dman I saw shove a Hab out of the crease on the PK.

- PK went to hell because they had someone in the crease and Jose was screened on all three shots. Can we please start kicking people out of the crease?

- Backstrom was all over the place tonight and solid in both ends of the ice, I thought. He just keeps getting better and better. I think seeing him in the shootout surprised people -- I know it surprised me. But he did a nifty little fake - looked like he was going to deke and try to wrap, then just roofed it.

- Would someone just please club Kelly Sutherland over the head and put him out of all our misery. That Semin hook in the third was BS, and I thought so again after watching the replay.

- Montreal came out screaming, just like I thought, and fought like demons the whole way. They're no joke, locker room drama or not, and they played very well.

- The Habs fans behind us were obnoxious. My seatmate got a beer down her back, and I got popcorn over my head towards the end of the third.

- Ovi. How do you say more about that? Just ... as I told the Habs fan behind me, this is why we pay him $9M a year, to which he said "and why he's worth every penny".

Posted by: kittypawz | February 19, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Fun game to watch.

On another, nonhockey related note, why is the RSS feed so slow with this blog? It seems like it takes forever to get notified. I've given up on google reader and my normal rss service and just come to this site manually...

Posted by: isaacc7 | February 19, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Kirk:
Tell me about! But that's typical ... I am guessing that his usual comments would not be very welcome here! ;-) But that's OK - he does not consider himself much of a hockey fan, anyway. (This explains why he gets frustrated when I don't want to leave early, regardless of the score :-)). As long as he humors my hockey habit, I'm not complaining!

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 19, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Kirk - I meant tell me about IT! (darn typos)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 19, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

love the espn hockey page, no caption, just ovi - http://espn.go.com/nhl/

Posted by: yrb1 | February 19, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

isaacc7:
yahoo's rss always seems to be an hour or more behind - gave up on it a while ago. straight to the source is the best way.

i thought theo was outstanding tonight. he did give up three - but all on the PP. he's gotta be thinking 'here we go again' every game. i think i'll go check how many goals against him have been PP's lately

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 19, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

I had some Toronto natives next to me tonight. They were pretty impressed with our fans, and didn't believe me when I told them its more quiet than it normally is.

They particularly enjoyed "Ref you suck" and "unleash the fury". Both had them cracking up.

That being said, for those watching at home, how did the Habs get away with slide tackling OV in the third? What the heck did they call Semin for like 30 seconds later for the PP that led to their 3rd goal? How the heck did that hook on Nylander not get called in OT?

Posted by: SombreroGuy | February 19, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

yrb1:
Did you watch that video? The dude says SAY-MEN for Semin. Hello?!? He's only one of the best players in the league ... you would think they would know how to say the guy's name!! Our poor Caps - the Dangerfields of the NHL.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 19, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

did not notice that the first time, i guess the guy got too excited about the OV goal, forget semin's name :)

Posted by: yrb1 | February 19, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

forgot

Posted by: yrb1 | February 19, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Was anyone else sold on Backstrom on the shootout? That was a freaking bullet he launched. The kid definately needs to shoot more.

Posted by: superpaqman | February 19, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

yrb1:
You are clearly a nicer person than I am!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 19, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

theo since his post holiday meltdown against nyr
20 games (really 19 2/3)
14w - 6l
2.26 gaa (45 goals -> 21 were PP)
.919 sv %
5 of these games the opponent only scored via the PP - 2 of those 5 games it was the only goal against theo
i'm completely in his corner now - even though i'm aware he can turn back into the pumpkin he was when the season began

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 19, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

@Capt Kirk

No to be honest I want both Pitt and Philly to make it. I don't know how people think Philly won't make it the top 4 in the East right now are pretty clear cut, Boston/us/NJ/Philly. Philly would be nipping at NJ's heels right now but they've played fewer games and it's been that way for a few weeks.

I want another shot at Philly in the playoffs. I want to beat the best to win it all and I definitely want to slay the beasts of Phillly/Pitt on the way. Boston in the conf finals probably and I hope if we went all the way to the Finals we'd end up with Detroit. It's just how I think.

@kitty

I bet it was awesome live, I need to go to another game soon, been to 6 already this year but not since the Det game.

Good lord Sportscenter is all over Ovie. Melrose just seemed in awe when doing Top 10 plays.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 19, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

superpaqman:
OMG yes! We talked about that goal as much as Ovi's. Price didn't even flinch - bullet indeed!

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 19, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Boo,
Likewise. Also really looking forward to Friday. Kinda sounds funny lol...

If we don't stay sharp for the Avs, another LA Kings kinda game could happen. Raycroft is coming off of two straight wins. Anyway, great win again boys, great goal again Ovie. Yeah!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | February 19, 2009 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Davethecapsfan:
ok - i'll let you slide this time. i guess it's like the skins beating the cowboys in the playoffs
i'd still prefer pit in 15th, philly in 14th and nyi in 13th. if the pens never won another game - i would not feel sorry for them. don't worry i'm not bitter.. NOT

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 19, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, a behind the curtain question for you. I know that up in the press box there is suppose to be no cheering, but what happens when a goal like Ovechkin's happens? Do even the ink stained wretches (thanks Bob McCown) get out of their seats?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | February 19, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

We have to beat the Avalanche. If only so I can gloat to my Avs fan friend who chirped me the entire time JT60 was struggling and has now moved on to the "He sucks in the playoffs" shtick.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 19, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

I will comment on this too, I think we get jobbed on penalty calls sometimes. Not so much the ones against us, they're usually legit calls, but certain plays I just wonder what they consider a penalty and what they don't. Some of the hooks on Ovie tonight, and that play right at the end of OT when Nylander "lost the puck" and created that chance they had off the post. He had position, his body was shielding the puck, there's no way he doesn't go down save by a penalty. Zero chance.

On the other hand right after there was that dispute of Price taking off his mask and Joe B was calling for delay of game, literally right after that they nail one of the Habs for interference on a really weak nudge on Laich. It was almost a blatant "oops we blew it have this instead" call.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 19, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

@BernieWolfeFan: Careful, around here a warning like that will get you a gloom and doom albatross. :D

You're right, though. This game was CLOSE. Montreal got nowhere against Theodore in the shootout, but before that ... yeesh. We need to watch out for the Avs, especially since they need this game to stay in the playoff hunt out west and they might be getting Stastny back Friday. We need to take this game seriously.

But Ovi's still a monster, and he's got a team full of beasts right behind him.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 19, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

9 points back with 24 to go. 1st in the east might be just out of reach. where's windjammer with the B's stretch run so we'll know what we're up against?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 19, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Too drunk to type.
Ovechkin.
Great, great game.
please dont block anymore shots.

Posted by: oo7 | February 19, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

@Kirk

They don't need to get the #1 pick again anytime soon. How many superstars do they need? Let them get in at #8 or #7 and let Boston or us squash them like they should be. I don't worry about any team if the Caps play up to their ability.

But yes, I'm at least as big a Skins fan as Caps fan and I always want to play the Cowboys.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 19, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Davethecapsfan:
crap - you're logic is making it harder and harder for me to want them to go 0-82. anyway - pens 15th in the east and 30th overall - that could get me all the way from june to oct - the boring sports months

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 19, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

"Too drunk to type."

Posted by: oo7


i'm assuming that's 'chugged' not 'sipped'

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 19, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Kittypawz,
Thanks, duly noted ;)

All my point was that I think we went into the Kings game abit unfocused and the WestConf style speed beat us before we took notice. Again, Raycroft is also coming hot off of wins over Detroit and Ottawa and as most of you recall, Quick stood on his head and stole the game, that's all.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | February 19, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie: Completely agree 110%. You're absolutely right. We need to watch to make sure that Colorado is not a repeat of LA. We're now in a five-game homestand - we need to take this opportunity to put a standings point or three (or five or six) between us and NJ. Catching Boston? Doubt it'll happen, let's focus on putting space between us and NJ, and we'll revisit the topic should we manage to close to within five of them.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 19, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

at their current pace 1.36 points per game - they will get almost 33 more points. that would be 14-5-5 and 51 wins and 112 points. the B's would have to go (about) 10-10-4, 112 pts and 50 wins, for the caps to overtake them. that's probably not going to happen. still would be pleased with going from last in the EC at mid-point last year to 2nd in the EC this year.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 19, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

The last thing I want is to play against Philly in the playoffs. They and their fans are nasty, and something about the Caps/Philly bad chemistry brings out the worst in the Caps more often than not. I am still smarting from the 1-7 loss to Philly in December, when we were supposed to take revenge for our loss at playoffs last year. And we barely squeezed a 1-2 victory in Jan. I'd take Boston, the Devils or the Pens over Philly--really, just about anyone else.

Posted by: caraveli | February 19, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm guessing Ovechkin did the "face the clock" (and similar) drills many times. :) Hockey players know what I'm talking about. In other words I'm referring to the move around the dman. Yeah the goal was cool too.

@caraveli:
I am with you brother. The team that scares me the most is Philly.

As always [you're] Better Off With Federov.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFederov | February 19, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

did anyone else notice Theo once he blocked that second shoot-out attempt? It's pretty impossible to tell what a goalie's emotions are on the ice (unless they are named Kolzig and they break the stick....or you can hear the f-bombs up in the 400s, but I digress). But not last night! I'm pretty sure he was thinking "YES! AGAIN! How do you like me now, Motreal?!" Loved it.

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 19, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"opita
...
How can you doubt a team that can score on their butts, for goodness sakes?

Posted by: bluejeener1 | February 18, 2009 10:44 PM "


Bluejeener1, I posted the following with less than four minutes to play last night at a time when most everyone tought we had lost the game. That doesn't like I doubt the team, does it?

"this game is going into overtime, but I am being somewhat optimistic.

Posted by: opita1 | February 18, 2009 9:50 PM "

Posted by: opita1 | February 19, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Great game, although it didn't go our way until Bruce split up the F-line.

Posted by: DrAdamson | February 19, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

caraveli
From a Caps fan point of view I would agree with you on the Philly match during play-offs, but from a hockey fan point of view, I think it would be a great series to watch. I rank last years series with Philly as one of the best in Caps history, two well matched teams is great hockey.

Posted by: opita1 | February 19, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

How is the "F" line name search coming along?

Posted by: opita1 | February 19, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@sombreroguy:

Even the TSN announcers noted three times where the refs missed pretty obvious penalties taken by the Habs.. and that was in the first period alone.

I know I'm a homer, but you would think that the highly skilled team who more often than not controls the play and has more shots, etc.. would get the benefit of the doubt.

How is one of the best teams in the league shorthanded so often? Why is it not hooking just because OV doesn't go down every time? When he is blowing around d-men, they almost always hook him. Lemieux would have gotten the calls.

Posted by: notfadeaway | February 19, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

...and suddenly the realization that after April/early May, there won't be ice hockey, makes me sad. I'm a new fan and I...I don't know what I'm gonna' do. Is there a support group to get me through the warm months without ice hockey? =(

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 19, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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