Wednesday, March 22 2023

Ovechkin nets hat trick as Caps trounce Habs on New Year’s Eve originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals closed out the 2022 portion of their schedule with a dominant 9-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on New Year’s Eve, jumping all over the visiting team behind a hat trick from their captain.

The game marked Ovechkin’s 26th of the season. It was also the sixth multi-goal game of the season and 164th of his career, putting him 25 back of Wayne Gretzky for the most in NHL history. He was one of 14 Capitals to record at least one point in the contest and one of seven with two or more.

Capitals netminder Charlie Lindgren got the start for Washington, facing the Canadiens for just the second time ever after he spent the first five seasons of his career with them. He picked up the win, stopping 31 of 33 shots to push his record to 11-4-2 and raise his save percentage to .914 on the season.

But the story of the game was the Capitals’ offense, which scored in bunches to power the team to its 11th win in 13 games. The first goal of the game came quickly. Erik Gustafsson found the back of the net 34 seconds in on a shot from the low slot to extend his active points streak to seven games.

Gustafsson’s streak is the longest by a Capitals defenseman not named John Carlson since Dennis Wideman had a seven-game points streak in October 2011. He’s scored six goals and seven assists in that span overall, making significant contributions on the offensive end after going 31 games without a goal to open the season.

Washington then stretched its lead to 2-0 four minutes later when its fourth line produced its first of two goals on the afternoon. Nic Dowd passed the puck to Aliaksei Protas along the boards and he got a shot off that Garnet Hathaway redirected enough to sneak past Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen.

After Montreal started to gain some momentum from there, Lindgren held off several flurries and stopped a few breakaways to send the game into the first intermission with their two-goal advantage intact.

The second period began with a series of penalties by both teams, setting up a 4-on-3 situation for the Canadiens that saw Cole Caufield score his 20th goal of the season. Though Caufield would go on to score another goal in the period, the frame still tilted well in favor of Washington.

That aforementioned fourth line was at it again midway through the second, when Dowd scored on the doorstep off a rebound for just his second multi-point game of the season — with both games occurring in the last 12 days.

Ovechkin got on the board only 30 seconds later, scoring a one-timer on a pass from Trevor van Riemsdyk through some traffic.

Following Caufield’s second tally, the Capitals then ripped off five straight goals to pull away for good. Gustafsson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson all finished the game with three points, marking just the second time all season the Capitals have had at least three players record three or more points (Nov. 7 vs. Oilers).

The final statement of the game came off the stick of Ovechkin, who scored his third goal late in the third on a feed by Conor Sheary for his second hat trick of the season.

With the win, the Capitals extended their active point streak to seven games and pushed their record up to 21-13-5 with 47 points toward the standings. They’ll head into 2023 sitting in third place in the Metropolitan Division, taking two days off before hosting the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

Source: Yahoo Sports


Alex Killorn with a Goal vs. Arizona Coyotes


Anthony Mantha with a Goal vs. Montreal Canadiens

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

POLL: Should the Colts trade for No. 3 pick in draft?

ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports Friday was not a good day for Lamar Jackson As Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson prepares for a limited crack at free agency, he has had two potential suitors take moves that most definitely take them out of the running for his services. With the Panthers trading up to No. 1 […]

Read More

Mark Kotsay shares Athletics’ plan for Shintaro Fujinami in rookie MLB season

Kotsay shares A’s plan to work Fujinami into rotation originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea Shintaro Fujinami will be part of the Athletics’ rotation for the 2023 MLB season. That much is clear. Where exactly will he slot in? As The San Francisco Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara reported on Tuesday, A’s manager Mark Kotsay shared that […]

Read More

Mark DeRosa says he is extremely proud of how Team USA came together as a team

Mark DeRosa says he is extremely proud of how Team USA came together as a team | FOX Sports Despite taking the 3-2 loss to Japan, Mike Derosa said he is proud of the way Team USA came together as a team and put up a great effort in the World Baseball Classic. 2 HOURS […]

Read More