Capitals 3, Thrashers 2 F/OT
Scoresheet – Wash Post – AJC
It was clear what the Atlanta Thrashers game plan was early in the game. They ran at the Capitals; hitting, punching, smacking, slashing and sometimes spitting at the young Washington players. In the end, all those efforts to knock the Caps from their game may have tired the Thrashers. Alex Ovechkin did the rest and will officially go down into Capitals lore as the one-man highlight reel.
Ovie scored all three, two power play goals and the game winner 6 seconds into overtime. The Caps bounced back after a devastating 4 goal blown lead against the Penguins to make a come back of their own. The Thrashers thought they had it in the bag, apparently they didn’t tell Ovie.
This is the second career hat trick for the Caps forward and oddly enough his first one ended in an overtime winner against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. In that game Ovechkin scored all three goals there as well. The Caps never say die help them out in this one and a frustrating game to watch, was well rewarded in the end.
Overall Grade: B
This game was one of those head turners; you can almost feel the loss wash over you. Then the power play goal, all hope restored and finally an overtime goal that shocked the Thrasher faithful. It’s all good drama, but the Caps had plenty of opportunities to bury this game earlier. A few missed passes, and bad shots and the Caps could have played a better game. But the Caps never said quit, and that was indicative of their play in the third.
The Caps played well, but needed to get those goal scoring second and third strings to start scoring goals on a more consistent basis. Atlanta did play a good game, but took one too many penalties, and the Caps power play was clutch. But the Caps had more opportunities earlier on the power play and squandered them.
On a side note, could Craig Laughlin sing the praises of the Thrashers anymore? I could have sworn he was wearing an Atlanta sweater in the booth. Locker was fawning over the Thrasher forwards, talked about how hard the Thrashers played, and took Atlanta’s side on a few questionable calls. I wonder how much Keith Jones would want to be the Caps new color man.
It was great to see Jamie Heward return to the ice. After a freak incident where Mike Modano's skate flew up into Hewards face cutting the defensemen's face pretty bad, Heward returned to the game with a half sheild (he was wearing a full face sheild in practice on Wednesday). Not only is great to see he is ok, but back in the line up and contributing.