Capitals

Ovechkin shows age when answering if he knew Daniil Tarasov

Capitals

In his 17th NHL season, Alex Ovechkin is at the stage of his career where he's starting to play against the sons of his former rivals. 

Such was the case on Saturday night for Washington's 3-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets and goaltender Daniil Tarasov. When asked how much Ovechkin knew of the opposing goalie coming into the matchup, Ovechkin made teammate T.J. Oshie chuckle in the postgame press conference when he showed his age. 

"No, (but) I think I played against his father in Russia," Ovechkin said. 

Ovechkin played four seasons against Daniil's father, Vadim (also a goaltender), before coming to Washington. Though Ovi wasn't as familiar with Daniil's game, the Capitals captain was all praise for Tarasov's highlight-reel, 29-save impressive display in between the pipes for the Blue Jackets. 

"I think he has a bright future. He's big, strong," Ovechkin said.

RELATED: Hendrix Lapierre's Alex Ovechkin fandom comes full circle after first career goal

Despite Tarasov's best efforts, Ovechkin did manage to get one past him. He scored Washington's second goal of the night with a sizzling effort into the side netting of the right side of Tarasov's net. The goal was Ovechkin's 20th of the season and 750th of his career. Tarasov also became the 152nd goalie Ovi has scored on. 

The Blue Jackets were forced to call Tarasov up from their AHL affiliate in Cleveland on Thursday morning due to non-Covid related sicknesses to their goalie tandem, Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo. Tarasov also allowed three goals in his NHL debut in Dallas in Columbus' 3-2 loss to the Stars. Though his NHL debut was certainly a milestone, being tasked with stopping Ovi's shots is a whole other ballgame. 

 

"He's one of the greatest players in the world, so it was good to play against him, yeah," Tarasov said postgame. "I saw him when I was a kid. It's like play against a real legend. It was good."

Still, it's remarkable to see the Great Eight's career begin to come full circle in small ways like this, even if Ovechkin isn't in any mood to reflect on career circles just yet.

"Again, for us, it doesn't matter who's in the other net," Ovechkin said. "We just have to try to do our job."