With less than two minutes remaining in Saturday's game, Alex Ovechkin had one goal. He would finish the game with a hat trick after scoring two empty-net goals to ice away the 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Observations from the win
Not a great defensive performance
No one will tell you this was the Caps' best game. They won because Detroit is terrible, but defensively it was a rough performance. Washington had several defensive lapses especially in the first period. Ilya Samsonov had a strong start to keep the Caps from going down by multiple goals early.
Detroit's first goal was from Robby Fabbri who was left all alone in front of the net on the power play. The second goal was a weak retrieval from Nick Jensen as the puck went right past him on the dump-in off the wall. It went right to Tyler Bertuzzi who passed to Luke Glendening for the goal.
The Caps got the win, but they have got to shore up that defense.
Wilson is a goal-scorer
Still think Tom Wilson is a goon? Check out his goal in the third period. He gets a lead pass from Ovechkin, cuts through the defense, leans long enough to make Jonathan Bernier commit, then cuts inside and scores through the 5-hole.
goal as smooth as that 'stache pic.twitter.com/9MQAEcV4ux— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) December 1, 2019
John Carlson is not just an offensive player
People love to label Carlson as an offensive defenseman and still think of him as a liability in his own end. He's not. Check out this goal-saving play he made on Valtteri Filppula.
Stop taking so many penalties
Penalties are a problem for the Caps who have taken the second-most minor penalties in the NHL. Washington took three minor penalties in the first period and trailed 1-0. They took one penalty in the next two periods and outscored Detroit 5-1.
Garnet heard Green was missing his old teammates pic.twitter.com/1L7p9v0eZc— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) December 1, 2019
After an awful first period, T.J. Oshie tied the game in the second. Then Ovechkin unleashed this beauty to give the Caps a lead they would not relinquish.
gotta watch your back, Bernier pic.twitter.com/uYfzsQqmrx— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) December 1, 2019
Play of the game
Normally, I wouldn't use an empty-net goal as the play of the game, but this was a great effort by Ovechkin who got the steal in the neutral zone and fended off Filip Hronek with one arm.
Has dude literally hanging onto him... still scores.— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) December 1, 2019
20th goal of the season, 24th career hat trick for the Great Eight. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/bRSYM2v8gP
Stat of the game
Unexpected hat tricks still count.
Alex Ovechkin has recorded his 24th career hat trick, passing Jari Kurri for the 10th most hat tricks in NHL history.— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 1, 2019
Quote of the game
Todd Reirden on if a hat trick is still a hat trick even with two empty-net goals:
"Definitely it is. [Ovechkin's] obviously able to get out there and earn that situation. He's gotten better in that area where we can play him in those situations. He deserves to be out there and to help us protect a lead and if he gets a chance, he knows where to put it, that's for sure, in the back of the net."
At the game tonight so hoping for lots of ovie goals— Please Remain Calm (@pleaseremainclm) November 30, 2019
I hope you stayed to the end.
Madison bowey minus 3, oveckin hat trick— Luka (@LukaKneevi4) November 30, 2019
Bowey was scratched, but you got the hat trick.
Wings play the best game they play all year and lose 5-3— jimmy hutchins (@CAPSNFIVE) November 30, 2019
I don't know if it was their best game of the year, but it was their best in a while and you were pretty close on the score.
Dadko goal. Third tweet is the charm, or else I give up on him and stan Sammy— Frothy (@FrothyOmen) November 30, 2019
MORE CAPITALS NEWS:
- Ovie spark: Alex helps the Caps wake up with hat trick performance
- Managing the cap: 'Day-to-day process'
- Orlov nets game-winner: Caps beat Lightning in OT