I would like to personally thank Ottawa Senators for giving Ovie a break, for the first time this year he was not bottled up, he was not shadowed and covered like other teams normally do to him and boy, oh boy, he exploded!
On the next game on New Year's Eve he will have not one, but two guys shadowing him, I can guarantee you.
Now let's read the headlines...
Washington Post, Dec. 29: Ovechkin's 4 Goals Lift Capitals to Upset
"A win is a win, is a win is a win," Boudreau said. He also praised Ovechkin's performance, saying: "I haven't seen him that on. He wanted ice. You just knew something was in the air."
Ovechkin's playing status was not determined until game time. Thirteen Capitals forwards, in fact, took the warmup just in case.
But he decided he would play. And did he ever.
Ovechkin put five shots on net in 21 minutes 21 seconds of ice time.
"I can't remember when I scored four goals in a game," he said. "It's a great feeling."
Nylander added: "He's an amazing player. He works hard. He has a tremendous passion for scoring goals. He shoots from anywhere. He plays like this every game."
CBSSports, Dec. 29: Ovechkin explodes for career-best four goals in big win for Capitals
"What impresses me most is that he actually played tonight," Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig said. "If you guys would have seen the gash on his leg and I know a lot of guys were, not begging him but leaning towards, 'Hey, you think you can play tonight?' He had a lot of courage and he put on a heck of a show."
"Oh yeah, it was bothering me," Ovechkin said. "It was a little bit of pain but it's OK, I feel pretty good tonight. My parents were here, they arrived from Moscow and I was excited. It was a great time."
Notes: Ovechkin has three career hat tricks. His last was in a 3-2 win in Atlanta on Dec. 15, 2006.
Globe & Mail, Dec. 29: Ovechkin's four goals lead Caps past Senators
"It was a great night for me and we won the game," said Ovechkin, who seemed a little in awe of the overflow crowd of 20,296 at Scotiabank Place. "It was a fun game for everybody and the atmosphere was unbelievable. It was packed."
Coach Bruce Boudreau marvelled at Ovechkin's performance.
"When he's going like that and making moves on great defenceman and the puck seemed to stay with him all night, I mean, it's been a young time in my tenure here, but the guy sort of amazes me," Boudreau said.