(Nick Wass/Associated Press)
Ovechkin's first playoff game goal and it is the game winner. What else can you expect from Ovechkin?
OVECHKIN, ALEXANDER + 1, 1 goal, 1 assist, ice time 21:50
AP, Apr. 11, 2008 "Caps draw the first blood":
WASHINGTON — Boxed in and bumped around all game, Alex Ovechkin eventually figured out a way to make his NHL playoff debut a memorable one.
Held without a shot until late in the third period, the league's leading scorer stole the puck and netted the tiebreaking goal with 4 1/2 minutes remaining, leading the Washington Capitals to a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series Friday night.
The Flyers led 4-2 heading into the final period, thanks to two goals apiece by Danny Briere and Vaclav Prospal. But Ovechkin helped set up the first of two goals by defenceman Mike Green that lifted Washington into a tie.
And then Ovechkin, who set a NHL record for goals by a left wing this season with 65, put the finishing touch on the Capitals' first playoff game since 2003.
The 22-year-old Russian known as Alex the Great took the puck away from defenceman Lasse Kukkonen and slid it past goalie Martin Biron. As the red-clad crowd's "M-V-P!" chants rang through the arena, Ovechkin raced over and jumped into the glass to celebrate, then did a high-step along the boards before skating all the way down to the other end to exchange high-fives with his team's goalie, Cristobal Huet.
James Mirtle blog, pr. 11, 2008
I can't recall looking forward to a first-round playoff game this much in a long, long time. What can I say, Washington's captured the imagination of an awful lot of hockey fans.
What a goal, what a game. Washington wins, 5-4, and I don't think Philly knows what hit them.
The Canadian Press "Flyers LW Thoresen taken to hospital after hit in groin by Ovechkin shot"
WASHINGTON — Flyers left wing Patrick Thoresen was taken to the hospital for tests after getting hit in the groin by a shot off Alex Ovechkin's stick during Philadelphia's 5-4 loss to Washington on Friday night.
"He's going to the hospital to get an ultrasound done on his testicles. It's bad enough they may have to remove one," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "Right now, we're not sure how serious it is, but there's a chance he may need surgery."
Thoresen blocked Ovechkin's shot with about 6 1/2 minutes left in the game, then dropped to the ice, writhing in pain. Moments later, Washington scored to tie the game 4-4.
"Obviously, I'd have liked to see a whistle," Flyers coach John Stevens said.
Thoresen was helped off the ice and taken to the locker room.