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Tarik's Three Stars: Alex Ovechkin completes Capitals OT comeback

Tarik's Three Stars: Alex Ovechkin completes Capitals OT comeback

For 40 minutes, Saturday’s showdown vs. the Ducks was The John Gibson Show.

But the Anaheim goaltender could only keep the surging Caps at bay for so long.

Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov rallied the home team in the third period, then Alex Ovechkin scored in overtime to lift Washington to a thrilling 3-2 victory.

The Caps have now won a season-high six in a row at home and three straight overall. Meanwhile, the Ducks’ last four losses have come after regulation.

Tarik’s three stars of the night:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovechkin sealed the come-from-behind win by ripping a shot past Gibson 1:58 into the extra session. No. 8 also had the primary assist on Nicklas Backstrom’s game-tying goal in the third period. The goal was Ovechkin’s 23rd on the season (tied for first) and the 21st of his career in overtime, which is the highest total in NHL history.  

2-Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals

Kuznetsov scored Washington’s second goal...though it looked like he was actually trying to pass the puck. But thanks to a deflection off a Ducks' defender's stick, the puck changed directions and slipped past Gibson to knot the score, 2-2, at 7:27 of the third period. 

Kuzy now has five points in the last three games (1 goal, 4 assists).

3-Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

For a long time this season, it looked like Backstrom may never score again. Now, he can’t stop scoring. His second goal in two games—and fourth in six contests—cut the Caps’ deficit to 2-1 four minutes before Kuznetsov’s strike. The scoring play began with a giveaway by Anaheim defenseman Josh Manson deep in Anaheim’s end.

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Tarik's 3 stars: Top line rolls as Caps crush Blackhawks


Tarik's 3 stars: Top line rolls as Caps crush Blackhawks

The Caps are at their best when they get offensive contributions from all four lines.

On Wednesday night, however, they only needed one line.

Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson took turns scoring goals in the first period as they downed Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks, 6-2, at Capital One Arena.

Washington has won three straight games and six of the last seven. Chicago, meantime, has lost five straight games overall, while their futility in D.C. now stretches all the way back to 2006, a span of seven contests.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Tom Wilson, Capitals

It was, um, an active night for No. 43. He scored two goals, racked up a primary assist and a secondary assist, drew a penalty, was assessed penalties for boarding and roughing and gave everyone a brief scare after leaving the bench for a few minutes with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.

The performance marked Wilson’s first four-point game. His previous best? A three-point night...against the Blackhawks in January.

2-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

Ovechkin, already enjoying a bounce-back season to remember, had another huge night. The Caps’ captain racked up a goal and three primary assists, giving him his first four-point night since he scored four goals against Montreal in the home opener back on Oct. 7.

Ovechkin now has 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists) in 15 career games against the Blackhawks.

3-Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

Backstrom opened the scoring to end a nightmarish goal drought that had reached 21 games.

But he wasn’t done; No. 19 also chipped in with a pair of assists—one on Wilson’s first tally and the other on Brett Connolly’s power play strike late in the second period. This was Backstrom’s first game with at least three points since he posted four against the Devils on Oct. 13. Connolly, by the way, has a goal in three straight games.

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T.J. Oshie misses Tuesday's practice

T.J. Oshie misses Tuesday's practice

T.J. Oshie did not participate in the Caps’ practice on Tuesday and seems unlikely to suit up Wednesday night against the visiting Blackhawks.

The star right wing is officially listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury. He was hurt in Monday’s 4-1 win over the Sharks when his head got crunched between Joe Thornton’s hip and the boards.

“I would probably say he’s very doubtful,” Coach Barry Trotz said.

Trotz said he could not project how long he expects the Caps to be without Oshie, who is second on the team in goals (10) and third in points (23).

Oshie had been scheduled to participate in a sponsor’s event Tuesday evening but it was canceled.  


With Oshie sidelined, Trotz shuffled his forward combos for Tuesday's practice. Here’s how they lined up:

Ovechkin – Backstrom – Wilson

Vrana – Kuznetsov – Chiasson (Burakovsky rotated in)

Boyd – Eller – Connolly

Graovac – Beagle – Smith-Pelly (Stephenson rotated in)

There could be more shuffling at Wednesday’s morning skate since Chandler Stephenson is expected to return from a one game absence. Andre Burakovsky, meanwhile, skated with his teammates for a second straight day, but Trotz made it sound like he's a longshot to face Chicago.

“There’s a slim possibility that he’d be in,” Trotz said. “I think he’s getting close. Another practice or two and he should be good to go.”

The Caps have now lost 60 man games to injury or illness this season. Last year, the lost a league-low 49.