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Caps 4, Panthers 2

Alex Ovechkin is not only the best hockey player on the planet right now. He's a fortuneteller, too, as it turns out.

Ovechkin said after tonight's 4-2 win at BankAtlantic Center that he told Tomas Vokoun during warm-ups that he was going to score two goals on the Florida netminder.

Well, Ovechkin did just that. Then he added an empty net goal for good measure.

"I saw him and I said, 'Hey, I'm coming for you, baby,'" Ovechkin said, "I'm going to score two goals. He said, 'Okay try.' So I try."

Coach Bruce Boudreau's thoughts on Ovechkin's trash talk?

"I'm sure he tells all the goalies that," he said with a chuckle. "And when it comes true, he tells [reporters]. He's sort of covering himself. But it doesn't surprise me."

Some other notes and quotes from South Florida:

*One night after setting the NHL record for consecutive games with a goal for a defenseman, Mike Green's streak came to an end. He also did not record a point for the first time in nine games.

"It was a good run," Green said. "I had some shots, but not those quality ones that I've had the last little while."

*The Caps' improving penalty kill was good again - and it had to be. The unit killed off seven of eight shorthanded situations (and has killed of 20 of the past 21).

In the third period alone, Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Backstrom each were assessed penalties for clearing the puck over the glass and Alexander Semin was banished for goaltender interference.

"We thought the glass was higher than that, for sure," Boudreau cracked.

*Ovechkin now has 41 goals on the season, of which 20 have come in the third period. He also has nine game winners, which are the most in the league (he passed San Jose's Patrick Marleau tonight).

The hat trick was his third this season and eighth of his career. Oh, and by the way, his backhanded empty netter from the Washington zone? He launched that with a broken stick.

Can you say back-to-back Hart Trophies?

*The win extended the Caps' lead over the Panthers to 13 points in the Southeast Division. For a while it looked like Florida might make it interesting down the stretch. But that ain't gonna happen now.

"It was a very important game for us," Ovechkin said. "Florida is behind us [in the division] and we don't want to give them any chances to feel like they can catch us."

*Green's streak came to an end, but Eric Fehr kept his going. He now has goals in four straigh games and six goals in the past seven. Everyone has been waiting for this guy to break out. Well, it's happening -- finally.

*Despite the penalty, Backstrom was also really good, recording at least two assists for the fifth time in eight games.

*Vokoun took the loss hard, blaming himself for Ovechkin's winner (which was shot through Jay Bouwmeester's skates).

"You don't know if he's going to shoot high or low. He's behind your player, shooting through his legs. Saying that, it's not a spot he should be able to score from. It was a mistake by me more than anything. I should have made the save."

But he didn't. And now the Panthers, who have not made the playoffs since 2000, are offically long shots to catch the Caps.

That's it for me tonight. There's no practice tomorrow as the players and their Dads remain in Florida for the final day of the mentors' trip. But I'll update the blog if any news breaks.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 15, 2009; 9:23 PM ET
 
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Comments

sick.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

"I saw him and I said, 'Hey, I'm coming for you, baby,'" Ovechkin said, "I'm going to score two goals. He said, 'Okay try.' So I try."

I LOVE Ovechkin, we won tonight simply because we have Ovechkin and the Panthers don't. :)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 15, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

41 and counting. Knowing he's played 2 less games than Malkin too only 7 points behind I think he can win the Ross. We'll see though I'm sure he'd give up the Ross and the Hart to win the Conn Smythe and hoist Lord Stanely.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 15, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

THere 's nothing much left to say that hasnt been said about Ovechkin. The guy just makes it look easy. Really easy. Unbelievable. He's the best, bar none.

Posted by: oo7 | February 15, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Heh. Knew it was coming on Thierren. The one that shocked me is that at the end of the 2nd, Atlanta is up 6-2 on the Ducks. Kovy with a hat trick. Giguere got the hook after giving up four goals in the second.

Ovi is such a hoot. He called it on Kolzig, too. I love him, so much.

I guess the best part of watching this Caps team is that we have so much scoring that if Ovi is having an off night or is slumping, it isn't doom for us. Someone else picks up the scoring and runs with it, and now we can add Fehr to the list of people who can and will pick it up and go.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

One more comment - I do think the Panthers will make the playoffs, it'll just be at a lower seed than they'd like. I think right now they'll just be happy to extend their season.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

ATL got called for "illegal substitution."

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Joe B was looking good tonight. I just feel sorry for the leprechaun that Joe B and Locker rolled before the game to get that sweet shirt and tie combo.

Here's hoping that the Penguins make the playoffs as the 8 seed and get bounced quickly. No more high draft picks for them, even if we can count on them drafting teenage girls first overall.

Posted by: crooks_c | February 15, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

One more note on Ovi's second goal - I didn't see it because of bridge but apparently the defenseman that Ovi abused to get that second goal was Bouwmeester. Is that true, and if so, that's just funny. Nobody's immune.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Penguins have fired Therrien.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 15, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I'm pretty sure it was Mister Bouwmeester. Ov said that to Conklin during the Detroit game also, You can see him mouthing to him after a breakaway save saying "It's coming, It's coming" Too funny!

Posted by: ludeman95 | February 15, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

kitty, Bouwmeester was right where he belonged and Ovechkin abused him anyway. You could see Voukoun and Boumeester both had their "who the eff IS that guy?" faces on afterward.
Just think: he's adding caginess lessons from Fedorov to the Game we already see, and he's probably not going to peak for three or four years.
We'd all better learn some Russian superlatives.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 15, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin is a freak. Simply put, a freak!

Posted by: broud0 | February 15, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

@ccCapsfan: Saw that. Guess it'll get interesting now, especially since now we play them a week after a coaching change. Look out below, folks.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

sick.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 9:34 PM

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone worried about the Pens? I could totally seem them making a key trade or two before the deadline, and with Gonchar back they could get hot and sneak in. I have faith in the RED but they could be a handful. It'd be a great series

Posted by: broud0 | February 15, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

The only way OV doesn't win the Hart is if Pens have a good run and make the playoffs.......Hard to ignore a double digit point lead..

This is coming from a caps fan before the flaming starts lol

Posted by: hardyboys0 | February 15, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue: It's going to be a wild ride, that's for sure. Ovi is definitely something else. He gets that caginess and $DEITY help the rest of the league.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah it was Bouwmeester. NHL On the Fly had what I assume was the Fla commentary going in their highlights talking about how he was trying to "stick right on him" while Backstrom saucered the pass from our goaline (amazing) that Ovie picked up right at their blueline. The rest is just him improvising to somehow find a way to get a shot off.

Vokoun blamed himself afterward and so did one of the guys on NHLN, saying he shouldn't be able to score from that angle. I'd call it a fluke or blame Vokoun, but when you've seen him do it to everybody, it's pretty simple to figure out it's just him making something happen.

Pens' fans must be happy, Therrien finally canned and Fla/Buff both lost today. Hope springs eternal.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 15, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

@hardyboys

It's actually only a 7 point lead for the Ross. And Ovie has played 2 less games than Malkin. 20 3rd period goals, 9 GWG's. Ovie = Hart.

I still think Chara will get the nod over Green for the Norris unless Green just stays hot and puts up ridiculous numbers.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 15, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Gosh. It certainly is unfortunate what-all is happening in Pittsburgh. Having the spLeafs hang six unanswered goals on you, that's enough to reduce your captain to tears, you know?

Posted by: redlineblue | February 15, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the EN goal but I thought it was a penalty to play with a broken stick - hope the league doesn't review it! Glad he got his hat trick. Kovy got one too, for the Thrashers (and I got two tonight in my beer league - yea!)

Posted by: CAP-lanta | February 15, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

@CAP

I thought that report about his stick was weird too. It didn't look broken even when watching the highlight of it. Maybe they meant he broke his stick while sending it down the ice?

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 15, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Is there a place to get NHL On the Fly episodes online? I don't get NHL Network on Comcast (and don't want to spend that much for one channel).

Posted by: kittypawz | February 15, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

It'll be just terrible if "the best player in the league" can't lead his team into the playoffs. Hee-hee. I think the so-called debate is over. Ovie rules.

Posted by: kevbnyc | February 15, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@CAP
i thought the same thing to when reading that...

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

@CAP-lanta - My guess is that he broke it on the shot, because you're right; he can't actually "play" with a broken stick, but if he breaks it while shooting and discards it immediately, that's kosher.

Posted by: irockthered | February 15, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

and congrats on netting two in your beer league.

cheers.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

NHL On the Fly throwing the Pens under the bus basically saying firing Therrien was a scapegoat for a lack of quality players. Sold the farm to pick up Hossa so you could make the Finals run. I understand the thought process that you would make that trade and take on the risk of selling the future to have a shot at the right now but I personally would rather stay the course and not give up too many pieces for just a shot only to come up short and end up in the can less than a year later.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 15, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

HOSSA...


FAIL

(someone link to that picture)

Posted by: richmondphil | February 15, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I've been careful not to gloat about the Pens' troubles, as it'd be just like 'em to find a way and screw Caps up, but good people, tonight's the night. The Penguins got drubbed by the *Maple Leafs*, while an Ovechkin hat propelled a road win on night 2 of a b2b. I can't pass up some HellYeah.
The hockey gods will forgive me. It's not like I sent Hossa fine rum and mailed a box of kleenex softique (tm) to the Most Valuable Whiner. Yet.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 15, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure the pens sold the farm..

G A
Christensen 4 11 (39 games)
Armstrong 13 22
1st rounder (how could they have the money to sign another of value)
Espisito still a question mark...(just had season ending injury)

Just for reference the offseason "replacement" stats

Satan 14 18
Fedotenko 11 10 (21 games)

The replacements have actually performed better than the people that they lost for Hossa.

Penguins would do that trade again in a second.

Problem has been no toughness, maybe lack of veteraan presence/leadership as well...who knows..

Posted by: hardyboys0 | February 15, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

@hardy

It wasn't so much who the Pens gave up to get Hossa in the trade, just the fact they gave them all up and got nothing once they lost to Detroit in 6. It could also be argued they didn't keep certain other players because they were banking on re-signing Hossa to a long term deal and figured that money would be locked up. They had so much invested trying to get that one piece back that when it fell through a lot of the other pieces collapsed as well.

While Satan and Fedo's numbers may be superior, their returns will only be diminishing while guys like Christensen and Armstrong were young and relatively cheap with good upside. I think they try to keep Sykora though he has been great for them this year. Time will tell they could trade some of that depth they have on the blueline and pick up a winger for Crosby to play with and make a run.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | February 15, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

>>Problem has been no toughness, maybe lack of veteraan presence/leadership as well...who knows..

Course, some people--predictably absent this evening--have been leveling exactly those crits at the Capitals. I have no idea what's wrong with the Pens lately. I just know I Like It!!

Posted by: redlineblue | February 15, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Hearing Ovi's hat trick and pulling the win for us makes me cry. Great job, Ovi. Great job, Caps. Ease up on the penalties though, guys. Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 15, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz - I don't think there is any other way to get shows from The NHL Network. Honestly, it's only $5 for the sports package, so I find it's really worth it, especially for Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights. Plus, they show games once or twice a week. Much cheaper than the Center Ice package!

Posted by: amberlynne | February 16, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

kittypawz:
amberlynne is right.
i'm not sure how anyone can live without the NHL network and/or Center Ice - i have to have both.
i wish hockey was year round :(

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 16, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ
"i wish hockey was year round"

Here here to that!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 16, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Penguins fire coach. I also hope they demote Crosby from captain next year. What a mess.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 16, 2009 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I can watch the NHL network, and then it goes away and says I have to order it, it sucks. I have MLB network but don't have NHL network. poopy :(

Posted by: rachel216 | February 16, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ: It's hard to justify an entire sports package for one channel. I don't have much use for most television as a whole - minus hockey, I probably wouldn't have cable at all and never miss it. I may look into that, but around here, I'm already up to $90 a month for something I only pay attention to for hockey and the odd random show if I'm achingly bored.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 16, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town: I think Crosby isn't ready for the captaincy yet and will do better when that's off his shoulders. But ... who takes it?

Posted by: kittypawz | February 16, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

@randino

Statistical analysis is my thing especially when I can use it to justify my rants. You can make numbers say almost anything. However, there is no figuring out needed when looking at Greens number.

@kittypaws

Is there anyway you can be a gloom and doomer for every opponent of Boston's here on out? See if we cant catch them? While you're at it, NJD's too.

Man I love being right.

I was interviewed yesterday by fanmedianetwork.com while at Bugsy's watching the game. I was pretty hammered. They asked me a Chris Clark being out and who my favorite players are, cant remember anything else.

Posted by: JSchon | February 16, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

JSchon:
Do you go to Bugsy's often? I love that place.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 16, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

@Boo

I go there from time to time... Sound on the Caps game. Old Town is just a pretty cool place. Ann is great cocktail waitress, she brought us 2 extra poured and unused beers.

Posted by: JSchon | February 16, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

@hardyboys

What do you mean the Pens have no toughness? They have Matt Cooke.

(Sarcasm.)

Posted by: CDon | February 16, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

JSchon:
Nice. It's hard to find a good hockey bar, huh? :-) And the pizza ain't too shabby either. Did you see Bryan hangin' around? I used to live out that way but now it is too much of a haul to go there regularly. One of these days I'll make the trek for an away game.

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 16, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Anaheim is falling apart at the seems. Pronger, Niedermayer and Hedican will be on the move.

Posted by: JSchon | February 16, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

CDon:
Be nice to Cooker!

Posted by: --Boo-- | February 16, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Bryan wasn't there and the pizza is very good. There was this lady who obviously was a Sabres fan talking almost the entire game about our bandwagon fans. I took the high road and didnt kick her knee in.

Then when the game ended, these 3 dudes said something about bandwagon fans. I pointed at him with a serious and menacing look and asked him "What did you say?", he said "Just kidding dude."

Punks.

Posted by: JSchon | February 16, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon: Hey, I wasn't the gloom-and-doom in here last night. That was Rachel, I can't take credit for that. As for catching Boston, don't think it'll happen. Stranger things have happened in this world, though. We might be able to edge NJ, though, with a couple of lucky bounces and some smart PK (and fewer stupid penalties).

I don't know, I think I've lost a lot of my enthusiasm for the activity after this weekend. The problems are getting fixed, slowly but surely, and if it's a little like nailing jello to a wall, well that's no real surprise. I'm sure I'll get it back the next time we do something stupid, and there's no doubt that we have two golden opportunities to lay an egg in our next two games, one of them against a Western Conference team. Man, that's getting old.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 16, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Dont take that bandwagon crap from anyone.

The whole NHL with the exception of Canada's teams would have the same result with a team down in the standings.

Everyone's loves a winner, and you tell that Buffalo fan they might want to jump on the wagon if they want to see a team advance in the playoffs this year.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 16, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

So, someone mentioned yesterday that it was lame that a Florida newspaper wrote that the Panthers have to beat the Washington Ovechkins (real lame!). Well, glad that one really came to bite them in the behind!

Also, great weekend, we start both goalies, and each one garners a star of the night!!!

Great PKing, too bad yesterday was a little uneven in the calls....I saw towards the end, refs made up for it a bit by not calling some of our more obvious penalties, just wish they would have called some of Panthers more obvious penalties earlier in the game instead. Oh well, Caps still beat them!


Loved watching the post game interviews (both nights) with players covered in shaving cream....this team is fun!

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 16, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Hey check this out (to add a little spice to the dessert):

I'm sure you are aware by now (not!)that Thursday, Feb 26 fires off the 21-game salute. But did you know that 4 straight games are at home "before" kicking off the 21-game salute. While those teams present a good challenge they are at home and our crowd is the 7th man. It will be a good tune up for us.

The other thing I'm sure you missed but the Wind is here to make sure you don't is that the Penguins (who we love to hate) play 9 out of the next 12 games on the road. Man if there ever is a time for them to melt away on the thin ice of new day let's consider this the beginning of the end of their season. And to boot they have to play our CAPS twice in the Phone Booth with the ZOO present.


Posted by: windjammersouth | February 16, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Kitty Paw lost her (his) way it appears. How aweful she can't share in the euphoria that is sweeping the town. Someone give this person some love.

There's hope - medication can fix that and a good scotch.

Noah

Posted by: windjammersouth | February 16, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I have never been in a real donnybrook, but if it were to happen, I hope it would be against a Flyer, Sabre or Pens fan.

Posted by: JSchon | February 16, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@windjammersouth: You changed your post. Good for you - it actually looked pretty good and was pretty cool the first time you posted it. Don't think we can't tell when you're cutting and pasting, and don't do it with ANY post. Write something new every time, or don't write anything.

It's true that there is a bandwagon this year. That's no bad thing. Every good team gets them. Winning attracts fans, that's how it is with every team in every city. The test is whether those fans stay when times aren't so good, and that will depend on how long we stay good and how far we go. People will stick around a long time if there's a lot of glory in the past. We don't know if they will - time will tell.

For now, who cares? Sure, we're upstarts. We've never had a bandwagon like this one before in the history of the franchise. Who knows what'll happen. For now, enjoy the ride. Your Sabres fan is just jealous :)

Posted by: kittypawz | February 16, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Whee, new thread bite.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 16, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Noah = schizophrenic

Posted by: JSchon | February 16, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Thank GOD I got the "work oncall" business over with on a week when we were AWAY!!!

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ
"I wish hockey was year round..."

Oh yeah. Totally, me too!!!

Posted by: irockthered | February 16, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Someone correct me if I'm wrong -- the last time the Penguins didn't make the playoffs, and the Caps did, the Caps went to the Stanley Cup finals. Sorry, but here's hoping the Pens DON'T make the playoffs.

Posted by: bucknelldad | February 16, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz - I agree completely that we need to be happy that we are now attracting the bandwagon fans. They will make the financial difference for Ted so that he can continue to invest in the team.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | February 16, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

OK Just a few things. I think OV has to do a lot more to win another MVP just because he won it last year and I think they like to pass it around. Iginla is a great player and everyone likes him. Malkin is a great player too. I think it should go to the most deserving player, but we all know in Hockey they use these things to promote the game instead of worrying if the right player is getting it. That's how Crosby got it a few years ago.

Next, What the heck is going on with the all the penalties? It was just Semin doing sumb things but it seems to have spread to the whole team. Florida is a second teit team, but killing a penalties for 12 minutes of a period is going to catch up to you quick. Hopefully they get it straightened out on this home stand.

I am also concered with our ability to clear the zone. Our goalies have been superior no matter who we put in there for a few months now, and it's a good thing because as the season goes on it seems like we fumble around with the puck in our own zone more and more and our goalie play is all that has been keeping us in it. Well that and one of the top 3 or 4 offenses in the league of course.

In the playoffs we will have to beat some teams in their own building and you won't beat good teams playing most of a period 5-4 or worse 5-3.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | February 16, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Cindy the Crybaby-winer is coming to town Sat. We gonna Rock the Red Baby---GO CAPS

Posted by: wwwduckyjimpond | February 16, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the not so Comcastic DVR (which recorded 3 hours of blank space) I was only able to watch the game today after downloading it from a torrent site.

Well done. The 2nd line is looking good. This guy, what's his name... Ovechkin had a pretty good game also.

Posted by: ranndino | February 16, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

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