Monday, January 26, 2009

East's Fortunes Begin And End On The Tip Of Ovechkin's Stick

East All Stars 12, West All Stars 11 OT/SO (2-0)

Alexei Kovalev may have won the car, but Alex Ovechkin had to have been a close second. Ovi started the scoring off with a cute passing play with Boston's Marc Savard. The two passed it back and forth until Ovechkin buried it for his 4th career goal at the NHL ASG. The unlikely combo didn't stop there as Savard and Ovechkin's pinpoint passing set up two other goals.

With the game tied and headed into overtime, Ovi got some penalty killing time after Canadiens' Mike Komisarek was called for a hooking penalty in the over time frame. The first penalty at an All-Star game in seven years. But the West couldn't capitalize and the game was destined for a shoot out.

Kovalev scored on his attempt and Ovechkin won it for the east. Ovi's flair for the dramatic didn't stop at the skills competition as he deked Vancouver's Roberto Luongo (a goaltender that has frustrated Ovechkin to no end in the past) and slipped the puck past an outstretched right pad to ice the shoot out and game. Ovi stood beside the net with his stick raised.

Boston's Tim Thomas was outstanding in the final period, overtime and then in the shoot out. He was pretty close to reaching MVP honors with two tremendous saves in the third. Although he was slow to get started, when the Eastern Conference was down a goal with 15:00 left in the final period, Thomas stopped every shot, then he stopped everything in the overtime period, then he stopped both shoot out shooters for the win.

Now that the festivities of the ASG are over, it is time to concentrate on more pressing matters. The Capitals next game is right in the thick of it as they head for Boston for a Tuesday night showdown at the "Gawrden." The Caps are ten points from first in the East and it should be some fireworks on the heels of the All Star Game.

Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

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