Alex Ovechkin let everyone know what happens when you make him mad on Thursday as he returned from a high stick to score the 25th hat trick of his career in a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Observations from the win
You mad, bro?
When Miles Wood hit Ovechkin with the high stick, you knew he was pissed. Before he even got off the ice he was yelling at the Devils' bench. He went to the locker room and returned to the ice in the same period to score twice.
After the game, Ovechkin said he did not think it was intentional, but yeah, he was mad.
"I don't think he meant to do it, and the ref didn't see it, but yeah I was little mad and I just punish them."
The third line has finally found its role
The third line is not going to produce as much offensively as the team hoped, but Todd Reirden has found a role for this line as the shutdown line. It was integral in the team's win over Carolina on Monday as they lined up against the Hurricanes' second line. Reirden again used them primarily against New Jersey's second line on Thursday. Carl Hagelin even scored his second goal of the season with assists from Lars Eller and Richard Panik.
"It feels finally how it was supposed to feel at the beginning," Panik said.
The challenge now will be how Reirden can get the matchups he wants when he is on the road which is tougher to do as road teams have to change lines first.
The power play is still an issue
Ovechkin scored on a two-man advantage, but once again the Caps gave up another shorthanded goal. Blake Coleman scored on a breakaway in the third period to pull New Jersey to within one in what could have been a major turning point in the game. That was the third shorthanded goal the team has allowed in four games and the fifth shorthanded goal allowed in the last 11.
That is a horrifying stat.
"Yeah that's definitely something that needs to be solved," Reirden said. "That's not acceptable, that's not winning hockey, it's not a winning formula. I think obviously they score a big 5-on-3 goal after struggling the last couple games 5-on-3, but in that situation with the lead, you can't give up shorthanded goals. So that has to continue to be worked on as we go on here."
Don't make Ovechkin angry. He took a nasty high-stick from Wood and returned in the same period to score twice. That gave Washington the 2-0 lead and set the tone for the entire game.
Play of the game
The play of the game is Ovechkin's hat trick goal, but not because of Ovechkin. Really, it was the pass by Tom Wilson that was so impressive.
Whenever someone says Wilson is just a goon, this is the clip you should show them.
Stat of the game
These are going to be a bit Ovechkin heavy, but there were a number of milestones the Great 8 hit in this one.
Another 30-goal season for @ovi8!— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 17, 2020
He is the second player in NHL history to score 30+ goals in each of his first 15 seasons, joining longtime @Capitals forward Mike Gartner (1979-80 – 1993-94). #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/m6G4mKESnC
Ovechkin has reached the 30 goal mark for his 15th consecutive season, becoming one of three players in NHL history to record 15 straight 30 goal seasons (Jaromir Jagr and Mike Gartner) and the only one to accomplish the feat with one team.— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) January 17, 2020
Alex Ovechkin scores his third goal of the game to complete his 25th career hat trick, tying Cy Denneny for ninth on the NHL’s all-time hat trick list. It marks Ovechkin’s second hat trick of the season, his fourth straight season with at least two hat tricks.— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) January 17, 2020
Ovechkin's third goal of the night marked his 689th career goal and he is now two goals shy of passing Mario Lemieux (690) for 10th on the NHL's all-time goals list.— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) January 17, 2020
Quote of the game
It's hard to top Ovechkin's quote about punishing the Devils. This one from Nicklas Backstrom, however, is a close second:
I could just tell when he got that high stick in the first there and then he got pissed off and he always plays better when he’s a little pissed off. So, there you go. That was drawn up like that, I think. So, came back, got a little mad, scored two and then I was just waiting for the third. That’s the story of Ovi, I think.
5-2 caps.— jmfrie3 (@jmfrie3) January 16, 2020
5-2 CAPS JENSEN SCOARS— StallingsRVA (@irieLife4me) January 16, 2020
No goal for Nick Jensen, but you nailed the score.
Caps score first. https://t.co/xDEZbLJrMY— Hunter Reilly (@HunterReilly) January 16, 2020
Ovechkin passes Lemieux https://t.co/F7SIZmqnfJ— Joey Byers(Ravens make me sick) (@CapitalsOwner) January 16, 2020
He came pretty close.
The contestant will not Spot the Cow— Adam Zielonka (@Adam_Zielonka) January 16, 2020
The cow was spotted. He is always pretty easy to spot, but even if you have trouble, the crowd usually can steer you in the right direction.
See what I did there?
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