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Ovechkin's empty-netter in Pittsburgh


Alex Ovechkin really wanted a second goal against Pittsburgh. He was one goal behind Sidney Crosby for the scoring lead. He was playing against his arch-rivals. The game had been a bit chippy. The fans had been booing. And in the final 30 seconds, with his team up two and the goal mouth yawningly empty, Ovechkin figured maybe he should get his 48th.

First Sergei Gonchar took out Ovechkin near the boards as he tried to get the final tally. Then he got tangled up with Jordan Staal. Now there were less than 10 seconds remaining, and it seemed like the quest would end near center-ice.

Except Alex Ovechkin doesn't go down quietly, not with a scoring title potentially on the line. So Staal sent the puck to no one across the ice, Backstrom quickly took control, Ovechkin cut toward the crease, Backstrom zipped a perfect pass, and Ovechkin skated in alone. The lamp got bright with 0.2 seconds left, tying Ovechkin for the goal-scoring lead with Crosby.

Caps fans will love that goal. Penguins fans, not so much.

Some of the latter will also point out that Ovechkin now leads the NHL with five empty-net goals. None were more memorable than Tuesday night's, though.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 6, 2010; 11:46 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

Gotta lead the league in something.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | April 6, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

It makes sense he'd lead the league in empty nets, would you want the puck on anyone else's stick with the other team's net empty? No way, so obviously he'd play more in those situations.

Posted by: jcleggette | April 6, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to score empty netters when your team is winning at the end of the game, thanks usually to a goal or two by ovechkin.

Posted by: southpaw11 | April 7, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Ovy rules.

Posted by: CF11555 | April 7, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

We Capitals fans will point out to Pittsburg fans that their precious Crosby is losing in points and tied in goals with Ovie, and it took Mr. Crosby 10 more games to even be in contention with Ovie!

Posted by: futbolclif | April 7, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

If you can't enjoy a F-You goal from your team's best player against your team's biggest rival on their home ice when it ties him with the other team's best player in the goal race (and it sweeps the season series), what can you enjoy? Awesome.

Posted by: TheFingerman | April 7, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

That just makes me smile. HAHA!

Posted by: tgerbracht | April 7, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Andray Blatche approves... ;-)

Posted by: 3tripleiii | April 7, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Out of all of Ovi's goals scored this season, this one may be my favorite. Seriously.

God bless you, Ovi.

Posted by: theamazingmouse | April 7, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

#71>#87
Caps>Pengs
Q.E.D.


Posted by: Michael01a | April 7, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget Ovie's played 8 fewer games than St. Sidney.

Posted by: ExPatYankee | April 7, 2010 4:35 AM | Report abuse

I think that was kind of silly - if we meet in the playoffs, the Pins can use that as motivation.

Posted by: charley42 | April 7, 2010 5:16 AM | Report abuse

There's nothing like sticking it to the Penguins and Sidney Crosby!

Posted by: dannykurland1 | April 7, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

I think that was kind of silly - if we meet in the playoffs, the Pins can use that as motivation.

Posted by: charley42 | April 7, 2010 5:16 AM | Report abuse

Motivation? you are a idiot!! if the pendicks need that for motivation than they should quit now. The pens do not need that as motivator, they have owned us when it counts most!! These are PROFESSIONAL athletes!

Posted by: caps67 | April 7, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Its the Pens job to stop him. Ovechkin has 5engs this year. 4 guys with 3.

Ovechkin had 5 last season, 4 guys with 4.

Malkin had 5, 2 years ago, Ovi 3.

He gets EN chances but given the fact that he leads the league in goals every year the percentage of EN's isn't bad.

Jordan Staal last season had 4eng's, he had 22 goals total.

Posted by: JSchon | April 7, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Haha. you know giving Ovi that ENG was (a) to give him a tie for the Richard and (b) to annoy the Penguins and their fans.

Although, let's be honest - could Backs have taken that shot himself? No. He was being stood up at the blueline. So he passes to center, where Ovi's just been quietly ignored (huh, Pens D?). It's the right play in that situation, and the smart one.

The schadenfreude is just a bonus.

Posted by: kittypawz | April 7, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

OV's teamates' determination to get him the puck the last few seconds, was impressive.
2Bad, Pens fans!

Posted by: Hattrik | April 7, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't it Ovi who banked one in off the boards last year? Crosby has had his share of EN's in his career. They all count in the RR.

Nice extra point for Backstrom who now has 98. Will sure be nice to have two triple digit point guys on the same line. I'm also rooting for Semin to get that 40th goal.

Posted by: rjma1 | April 7, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I think that was kind of silly - if we meet in the playoffs, the Pins can use that as motivation.

Posted by: charley42 | April 7, 2010 5:16 AM | Report abuse

Motivation? you are a idiot!! if the pendicks need that for motivation than they should quit now. The pens do not need that as motivator, they have owned us when it counts most!! These are PROFESSIONAL athletes!

Posted by: caps67 | April 7, 2010 6:45 AM

Their professional athletes? Really? I didn't know that.

(Btw, that's called sarcasm.)

Look, I KNOW that they are two professional PLAYOFF teams in which little things can tip the balance between teams. You know things like their emotional states. The difference between a goal getting past a goalie and not is much quicker than you'll ever be able to think, so the little advantages CAN make a difference in hockey games. It's not like basketball where there are hundreds of chances each game. In PROFESSIONAL sports, the little things can make a big difference.

Posted by: charley42 | April 7, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

lets pissburgh cry about it. that's what they do.

Posted by: asdffdsa1 | April 7, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Jordan Leopold, 2nd intermission: "Well, everything they've gotten, we've pretty much given them..."

Yeah, nothing our guys accomplished took nearly as much skill as your two joke tallies that were courtesy of Shaone Morrison. Thanks for being so gracious as to also give Washington that extra, rub-it-in goal on your home ice. Mighty generous of you

Posted by: JohnnyBlades | April 7, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

seriously a goal is a goal Pens dont want to give it up they should have tried harder. Ovi would be at 50 tight now if wasnt suspended 5 games and hurt 5 . Sidney and Stamkos have had a 10 game lead on him and Ovi tied with them. ANd has more points then OVi imagine if he played all or even missed two games he be way ahead crosby or sedin

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | April 7, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't care how he got it -- that goal was one of the sweetest I've ever seen! Go Ovie! Go Caps!

Posted by: AmyS1 | April 7, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I don't care how he got it -- that goal was one of the sweetest I've ever seen! Go Ovie! Go Caps!

Posted by: AmyS1 | April 7, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

If you don't want to give a guy the free bee don't empty the net.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 7, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

the only problem I have with this goal is it wasn't at 00:00.1

Posted by: tttyler | April 7, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't Crosby have 4 empty netters? Not a big difference there especially since Ovie's played less games (granted they were suspended games).

Posted by: HogsHaven | April 7, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

It always feel good to laugh at the expense of Pittsburgh fans and that Ovi goal made for a great laugh. Just when I thought winning the final game of a season sweep in Mellon Arena was salt in the wounds for Pittsburgh fans, Ovi goes and dumps a gallon of lemon juice on top with that final ENG to tie Crosby for the league lead in goals.

Posted by: MillBurray | April 7, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

We need some payback this year. Looking forward to the playoffs. Go Caps!

Posted by: SirPelleas | April 7, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

If they don't like it, stop it.

Posted by: lavar609 | April 7, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

best stat +/-
Ovie +43
Cindy +11

Posted by: rowandk | April 7, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love the Pitt fan waving it off on the near boards. You know that dude broke something in his car or house later that night.

Posted by: makplan20002 | April 7, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Kicking sand in Pissburgh's face. Great stuff. And the best part is that they aren't good enough this season to do anything about it.............

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 7, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I literally LOL'd hard at that goal.

Man, Ovie and this team is so easy to support and love unlike those fat inept idiots in Ashburn.

Posted by: playahatah | April 7, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Southpaw writes:
"It's easy to score empty netters when your team is winning at the end of the game, thanks usually to a goal or two by ovechkin. "

I AGREE - 100%

The FingerMan writes:
"If you can't enjoy a F-You goal from your team's best player against your team's biggest rival on their home ice when it ties him with the other team's best player in the goal race (and it sweeps the season series), what can you enjoy? Awesome."

Again, I AGREE - 100%

Posted by: bethesdaguy | April 7, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

That a**clown Pens fan who stood up at the end cracked me up, the one who was motioning "no goal" to Ovie like his life depended on it. I think someone was dropped on his head a few too many times as a child.

Posted by: jec4p | April 7, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

My favorite part of the goal was how Ovie calmly received the pass and took his time before shooting in the empty net. He knew exactly how much time he had and must have enjoyed making Pittsburgh squirm at the fact that he could shoot a n y t i m e he wanted and score the goal that tied him with their favorite son. It was priceless.

Posted by: theblitz | April 7, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Best. Goal. Ever.

Posted by: kingrob76 | April 7, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Agree with everyone here. With all the heartbreak the Caps and their fans have suffered at the hands of the Penguins over the last generation, this only began to scratch the surface of payback.

Posted by: 74umgrad1 | April 7, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

obviously the game means noting in the form they dont have malkin and kunitz bt that said caps didnt have green, morrison, walker and carlson and they caps with there depth managed to utlimatly counter anything Pens did Pens score cut it close Caps would answer. Crosby by far had his best game in awhile and can say was best player on the ice but Crosby cant do it on his own there. I think the difference from last year to this year is yes caps are deeper and a year experience but the sting of Game 7 last year the fact Pens won the Cup drives them harder then any other team to beat and play Pens harder. I hope goaltending doesnt fall apart but i do like that yester there wasnt as many break aways and Varly played well

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | April 7, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

that goal was awesome major FU to Pens was the cherry on top for the season sweet, including the Snowvechkin hat trick.

Too bad that Pens are going to lose to Ottawa in first round would love to beat them some more :)

Posted by: thebone | April 7, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I get a kick out of you Caps fans who make fun of Crosby. I guess that's what happens when your team has lost 7 out of 8 series vs the Pens & most of your hockey-clueless fan base has only been interested since Ovy came to town. If he hadn't, the "PhoneBooth" would be more like the "Canyon", empty & full of echoes.

Posted by: grant44 | April 8, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

[…] most of your hockey-clueless fan base has only been interested since Ovy came to town. If he hadn't, the "PhoneBooth" would be more like the "Canyon", empty & full of echoes.

Posted by: grant44 | April 8, 2010 2:18 PM

Substitute "Mario" for "Ovy" and "Igloo" for "Phonebooth" and you're talking about Pittsburgh before 1984.

Outside of a few select markets, it usually takes something like having a Lemieux, Gretzky, Crosby, or Ovechkin on the team to get the attention of the locals. As evidenced by the situation in Pittsburgh, it can change the landscape of a fan base for the long-term, and wind up generating a few more fans who aren't, as you so politely put it, "hockey-clueless."

Posted by: Goat_74 | April 8, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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