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Ovechkin scores OT winner in Chara’s first game vs. Bruins

Ovechkin Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring the game winning goal in overtime against the Boston Bruins at Capital One Arena on January 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Storylines galore in Washington on Saturday night as Alex Ovechkin returned to the Capitals lineup following his quarantine, David Pastrnak made his season debut for the Boston Bruisn, and Zdeno Chara played his first game against his former team.

All three players played a prominent role in the Capitals’ 4-3 overtime win.

A few quick takeaways...

Ovechkin makes an immediate impact and climbs the leaderboard

After missing the past four games due to a COVID quarantine, Ovechkin was back in the lineup on Saturday night and scored the game-winning goal in overtime.

That goal is significant not only because it gave the Capitals another win and extended their season-opening point streak to nine games (6-0-3), but also because it was the 708th goal of his career. That moves him into a tie with Mike Gartner for seventh place on the all-time list.

Next up: Phil Esposito in sixth place at 717 goals.

Here is his goal on Saturday.

Chara’s first game against the Bruins was eventful (and painful)

For more than a decade Chara was the face of the Bruins’ defense and a cornerstone piece to one of the best teams in the NHL.

On Saturday, he was back on the opposite side.

Chara logged more than 20 minutes of ice-time for the Capitals against his former team and finished with a game-high six blocked shots. He also had to briefly leave the game late in the first period when he was hit in face by a shot. Fortunately for the Capitals he was able to return for the remainder of the game.

Pastrnak’s season debut

The other big news on Saturday was Bruins star winger David Pastrnak making his season debut.

They did not ease him into the lineup, either.

Pastrnak logged 20 minutes of ice-time in the win (most among Bruins forwards and second only to Charlie McAvoy on the team), recorded five shots on goal, and recorded an assist.

This was an interesting game for the Bruins because they carried the play for most of the night, dominating the game territorially and on the shot chart. Despite that they still found themselves in a 3-0 hole before roaring back to tie the game and send it to overtime. It was probably a game where they deserved the second point, but sometimes over the course of a season you are going to have games where the result does not match the effort. This was one of them for the Bruins. Even with that they are still a very impressive 5-1-2 on the season.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.