Capitals

Quick Links

Capitals' Stan Galiev switches jersey numbers

Capitals' Stan Galiev switches jersey numbers

Capitals winger Stanislav Galiev has changed his jersey number to 16, he confirmed Monday.

The move coincides with Galiev’s contract moving to a one-way deal for 2016-17.

It also signals the 24-year-old’s desire to start fresh as he attempts to earn a fulltime job in Washington after appearing in only 24 games last season.

For the past two years, Galiev wore No. 49, which a teammate jokingly referred to as a “training camp number.”

Now he's got the number last worn by Eric Fehr from 2008-11 and 2013-15. No. 16 has also been worn by Bengt-Ake Gustafsson, Alan May, Trevor Linden and Brian Sutherby.

Quick Links

Caps pull off inexplicable comeback win with five-goal third period

usatsi_13926114.jpg
USA TODAY sports images

Caps pull off inexplicable comeback win with five-goal third period

Down 4-1, the Capitals scored five goals in the third period for the incredible 6-4 comeback win over the New York Islanders on Saturday. Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick pulling him in a tie with Steve Yzerman for ninth all-time in goals.

Here is how the Caps won.

Ovechkin

Ovechkin was hot coming in with five goals in his past two games. He scored midway through the first period, getting a great pass in stride from Nicklas Backstrom to launch him behind the defense. Just as the defense closed in he fired a wrister past Semyon Varlamov to make it 1-0.

There is...pretty much nothing positive to say after that until the third period. There was a great 5-on-3 penalty kill, but it was essentially negated as they allowed a goal soon after. The Islanders built a 4-1 lead through 40 minutes and it looked all but over.

But after Carl Hagelin made it 4-2, Ovechkin pulled the Caps to within one, pulling the vintage back-to-front Ovechkin curl-and-drag before passing to the front where the puck deflected off the boot of Ryan Pulock and in.

After Jakub Vrana made it 5-4, Ovechkin added the empty-netter for the knockout punch.

With three goals, Ovechkin now has 34 on the season. He passed Mario Lemieux and tied Steve Yzerman for ninth all-time in goals. Incredibly, this is the first time in his career Ovechkin has three straight multi-goal games.

Motivation

Just what exactly lit the fire under the Caps butts for that third period will probably be a talking point after the game. Was it Devon Toews doing the bird celebration after he scored to make it 4-1? Was it pulling Braden Holtby and starting Ilya Samsonov in the third period? Was it something Todd Reirden or one of the players said?

Whatever it was, it was a different Caps team that took the ice for the third period.

Hagelin's turnaround

As great as Ovechkin's performance was -- and it was epic -- it might not happen without the Carl Hagelin's early third-period tally.

The comeback was sparked by Hagelin's goal that came less than three minutes into the final frame. A great pass by Richard Panik set Hagelin up on the doorstep and he hit it home.

That goal made it 4-2 and a two-goal deficit seems a lot less daunting than a three-goal one.

Shaky Varlamov

Once Ovechkin made it 4-3, you could smell the blood in the water. Washington had gotten to Varlamov and the flood gates were open.

Dmitry Orlov took the puck up to the top of the faceoff circle and fired a slap shot that Wilson managed to get a stick to and deflected it through Varlamov to tie the game.

About three minutes later, Vrana intercepted a pass and fired a quick shot to beat Varlamov far-side for the 5-4 lead.

Varlamov faced 10 shots in the third period and allowed four goals. The fifth came on an empty net.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Ovechkin passes Lemieux, ties Yzerman for 9th all-time with hat trick

Ovechkin passes Lemieux, ties Yzerman for 9th all-time with hat trick

Alex Ovechkin continues to climb the ladder of the all-time goal list. With his two goals on Saturday, Ovechkin passed Pittsburgh Penguins great Mario Lemieux for 10th all-time with 691 career goals.

Ovechkin struck early in the first period and fittingly it was Nicklas Backstrom on the assist who hit him in stride behind the defense. Right before Nick Leddy was able to close the gap and get to the puck, Ovechkin fired the wrister to beat Semyon Varlamov blocker side.

That goal tied Ovechkin with Lemieux. He passed him in the third period.

Ovechkin came streaking down the left side then pulled off the vintage curl-and-drag back to front move. Scott Mayfield got his body in front of Ovechkin as he tried to get past him so Ovechkin flicked the puck center. It bounced off the boot of Ryan Pulock and past Varlamov for goal No. 691.

As if entering the top 10 wasn't sweet enough, he also pushed Lemieux out of it, something that Capitals fans will no doubt appreciate.

Granted, Lemieux got to 690 in only 915 games -- which is pretty insane when you think about it -- while Ovechkin is up to 1,133. But part of the greatness of Ovechkin has been his incredible ability to stay healthy. One of the greatest abilities is availability.

The next target on Ovechkin's list is Steve Yzerman who ranks 9th with 692 goals. Ovechkin is also closing the gap on current scoring leader David Pastrnak who has 36 for the season. Saturday's goal was Ovechkin's 34th.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS: