His first function — a snap shot arrange by way of a protracted cross from Nicklas Backstrom — was once the sport’s first rating and stood because the Capitals’ lone function coming into the 3rd length, during which level they have been down Four-1 at Nassau Coliseum. His 2nd, early within the 3rd (a contested backhand that deflected off a defenseman), trimmed the deficit to Four-Three and moved him previous Corridor of Famer Mario Lemieux at the NHL’s all-time checklist.
Ovechkin knew he had yet one more in him.
With the Islanders pushing for an equalizer within the ultimate minute, he discovered the empty internet from simply around the heart line for occupation function No. 692, tying him with Steve Yzerman for 9th
At the ice for 23:19, he scored two objectives in his eight:57 of ice time within the ultimate length because the Capitals progressed to an NHL-best 33-11-Five.
“I believed he was once remarkable all evening, and I simply performed him each and every different shift within the 3rd,” Capitals Trainer Todd Reirden mentioned of his captain, who has 34 objectives this season. “I felt he was once going. He was once all in. He has been in a truly excellent position the remaining 3 video games . . . extra special. He was once going, and we had to get him in the market. In point of fact sturdy management from him.”
Ovechkin, 34, has 8 objectives over his previous 3 video games because the group heads into the all-star wreck and is most likely as scorching as he has ever been.
This marks the primary time in his occupation he has scored more than one objectives in 3 directly video games.
“I simply left in the market the whole thing I had as a result of I’ve per week off and, you recognize, now it’s time to regroup and get in a position for the second one part of the yr,” Ovechkin mentioned.
Even supposing he was once voted captain of the Metropolitan Department group by way of enthusiasts, Ovechkin has opted to skip subsequent weekend’s All-Big name Recreation, incomes a one-game suspension from the league. His subsequent recreation for the Capitals is about to be Jan. 29, when Washington hosts Nashville.
This marked the 3rd time in his occupation that he has scored hat tips in back-to-back video games. The one different avid gamers in NHL historical past who’ve finished that greater than two times are Wayne Gretzky (3 times) and Joe Malone (4 instances). Ovechkin additionally has extra hat tips (26) than 4 NHL groups since he entered the league.
Subsequent up at the all-time objectives checklist is Mark Messier (694). Passing Lemieux was once additional particular to Ovechkin, who mentioned the Pittsburgh Penguins icon was once one in all his idols rising up. Whilst it was once in a special technology, it took Lemieux 915 video games to achieve his general. Ovechkin required 1,133.
Milestones apart, no longer a lot got here simple for the Capitals on Saturday. After Ovechkin’s function trimmed their deficit to Four-Three, they fought for an equalizer. It in any case got here when Tom Wilson redirected a puck in entrance off Dmitry Orlov’s level shot with Five:28 left.
3 mins later, Jakub Vrana finished the comeback, with Ovechkin’s empty-netter a candy capper. The objectives have been Wilson’s 14th and Vrana’s 22nd.
“We weren’t leaving this development with out a minimum of 20 mins being all in, the whole thing you were given,” Reirden mentioned. “You were given a complete week to leisure; let’s simply go away all of it in the market and notice what occurs.”
Goaltender Ilya Samsonov earned the win in reduction of Braden Holtby, who was once pulled after permitting 4 objectives on 22 pictures via two sessions. It was once Samsonov’s 10th directly win, and it made him the primary rookie goaltender in league historical past to win his first 9 highway video games.
Samsonov is 15-2-1. Holtby, in the meantime, was once pulled for the 3rd time.
“Only a exchange in momentum, and once in a while when it’s important to do one thing like that, too, it sends a message to the room that we aren’t finished right here,” Reirden mentioned of his resolution to drag Holtby.
Ovechkin mentioned there was once a undeniable state of mind coming into the 3rd length.
“Everyone was once roughly annoyed, but it surely’s the benefit of this crew of men,” Ovechkin mentioned. “We by no means surrender. It doesn’t subject what the rating is.”
By the point Devon Toews beat Holtby five-hole at 17:25 of the second one length, the rating was once Four-1 in want of the hosts. Toews was once left all on my own in entrance after a Capitals breakdown within the defensive zone, and he celebrated by way of doing Evgeny Kuznetsov’s signature hen party.