Washington Capitals left-winger Alex Ovechkin was named the NHL's first star of the week on Monday.
The Russian sniper tallied five goals and one assist last week, including three points (two goals, one assist) as Washington overcame a 4-0 deficit to defeat the New York Rangers 5-4 in overtime on Dec. 23.
Ovechkin also scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 26 and recorded a pair of goals, including the game-winner, as the Capitals defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 Dec. 28.
Ovechkin has 44 points (23 goals, 21 assists) in his past 28 games. He ranks second in NHL scoring with 49 points (25 goals, 24 assists) in 35 games.
Ovechkin wearing #11 at pre-game skate in honor of Mike Gartner whose number was retired before the game. Photo by Marge, our blog reader.
Ovechkin's post game interview
After Ovechkin scored his empty-netter, the camera showed Laich and Ovechkin talking at the bench. I thought "I guess they congratulate each other".
Alex Ovechkin said he looked to pass the puck to Laich as the two broke toward the Leafs' empty net in the waning seconds of the period but that Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle blocked the play. Laich didn't seem too concerned about missing out on his first-ever hat trick though.
"It would have been nice to get that one but it wasn't a clear cut play and at the time the game was still in question," Laich said. "We got back to the bench and he said sorry. I told him: 'Don't worry about it the game is more important.'"
Ron Wilson was interviewed on NHL network and he said "When you play against the best player in the league..." then he realized... Oops, where's political correctness, and continued... "or one of the best players in the league"
"We should have realized the time, the score and who was on the ice," said Wilson. "When the best player in the league is on the ice, or one of the best, you can't mismanage the puck and we did."
Ovechkin steamed down the right wing and snapped a shot that squeezed between goaltender Vesa Toskala's left arm and body. That gave Washington a 2-1 lead with 10 seconds remaining in the period.
"That goal killed us," said Antropov. "You just can't make those mistakes in our zone."
The late second period goal by Ovechkin was an obvious topic in the visitors' dressing room after Sunday night's encounter. Though defenceman Ian White tried to block the shot with his stick, Toskala admitted it was a clean goal. "I don't think it hit anything on the way to the net, it just went in under my arm" the goalie said. "It's amazing how heavy Ovechkin's shot is."
Ted's Take, Dec. 29, 2008:
We are now in sole possession of second place in the East with 49 points which is also 4th best in the NHL. We are 10 points up on Carolina.
Things are going well so I worry!