Michael Connor / The Washington Times Alex Ovechkin, Sergei Fedorov and the Caps rebounded from a 3-1 series deficit to advance to the conference semifinals.
The Star, Apr. 29, 2009:
"It's been a long time since I scored a goal like that," said Fedorov.
It was, really, a $4 million (U.S.) goal. That's how much the Caps decided to pay Fedorov on a one-year-deal last summer even though his performance level in general didn't justify that enormous salary.
"We decided to bring Sergei back for his mentoring and leadership and for what he could do in the playoffs," said a jubilant Washington owner Ted Leonsis in the victorious dressing room.
"Looking back, it was an investment I'd make again."
Mike Wise, The Washington Post, Apr. 29, 2009:
"My brother Fedor was with us for last three games," Sergei said, alluding to Washington's three straight wins. "Now he's stuck with me. I can't let him go."
"Old Russian name, very old," Sergei said. "My grandfather was named like that. He went through three wars."
Ovie and his teammates were lost in the grandeur of Game 7, spectators to their own demise for much of the evening.
How could this happen two years in a row, five times in their history, in Game 7?
And then Feds happened. Then his countrymen happened.
The Russians were coming in that third period, all right -- all of them.
Outshot 14-11 the first 40 minutes, the Caps put 13 shots on goal the final 20 minutes. Eleven of those came from this Russian Five: Semin (five shots), Ovechkin (three), Fedorov (two, his only two of the game) and Kozlov (one).
When Fedorov finally broke the scoring drought with that laser from the last millennium, when Sergei's shot broke the Rangers' back, only two things were certain after the noise finally went away last night:
1) The Washington Capitals were going to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
2) Someone was buying at Russia House, and it wasn't Sergei Fedorov.
"We're not going [to Russia House]. We have to stay disciplined," he said.
Spoken like a golden oldie, like a gracefully aging pro who knows when to rest, when to play and when to go high when the goalie goes low.
4-28-09 Sergei Fedorov
4-28-09 Alex Ovechkin
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