Posted January 28, 2013 on
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Alex Ovechkin's return to his usual spot led to his first goal and a first victory for the Washington Capitals in this shortened season.
With some of the pressure off, Ovechkin and the visiting Capitals try to further that momentum Tuesday night against the Ottawa Senators, who are trying to get back to their winning ways themselves.
Much was made of the star Russian's early season struggles as first-year coach Adam Oates flipped Ovechkin to right wing. His lack of offense the first four games - Ovechkin had only one assist - combined with Washington's porous defense in being outscored 19-8 in an 0-3-1 start had intensified the pressure on the team given the 48-game schedule.
But a vintage Ovechkin goal, a one-timer from the left circle off a pass from defenseman Mike Green on the power play early in the third period, proved to be the winner in Sunday's 3-2 victory over Buffalo. The goal brought a much-needed positive vibe for the Capitals (1-3-1) ahead of their two-game swing through Ontario that concludes Thursday at Toronto.
"We finally win, so it's much, much better for us," said Ovechkin, who has 18 goals and 34 points in 26 lifetime games versus the Senators. "There's no pressure on our shoulders now ... 5-on-5, we played much better right now."
That disciplined even-strength play was apparent as Washington successfully killed off its only two penalties. The Capitals had given opponents at least five power plays in each of the first four games and conceded eight goals in 24 short-handed situations in their slow start.
Oates plans on keeping Ovechkin at left wing to get his best player on track. Mike Ribeiro, who had two assists Sunday, has a team-high six points while Joel Ward has scored three of Washington's 11 goals.
As Washington appears to have righted itself, Ottawa (3-1-1) is trying to regroup after back-to-back losses following a fast start. The Senators did salvage a point in their last game, a 2-1 loss Sunday at home to Pittsburgh as Craig Anderson had 33 saves before failing to stop James Neal, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the three shootout rounds.
"We did what we had to do to get a point, I thought we did more than enough offensively in the shootout to get the second, and I'm not happy with my performance in the shootout," said Anderson, whose team scored twice in the shootout.
Anderson, who has a 3-0-1 record with a 0.74 goals-against average, is expected to start. He went 1-1-1 with a 3.01 GAA in three starts versus Washington last season and made 33 saves in a 5-2 home victory Feb. 22 in the most recent matchup.
First-line center Jason Spezza has registered a point in all five games this season but has not scored a goal in his last seven against the Capitals. Norris Trophy winner and Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, though, had two goals and three assists in the final three games between the teams in 2011-12.
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from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,
There is a lot that hasn’t gone well for the Capitals through the first four games of the season. They’re taking too many penalties (which you can read more about in today’s story for the dead-tree edition), the power play is ineffective (3-for-20) and their superstar captain has largely been absent.
Alex Ovechkin has yet to...
An NHL routine gone missing for 102 days made an overdue return Sunday: Alex Ovechkin scored a goal, and the Washington Capitals won.
Like old times. The two-time league MVP nailed a one-timer from the left circle on a power play, skated a few feet, bent his left knee and unleashed that familiar downward celebratory fist pump. He then collected the customary row of high-fives as...
Through four games, the Washington Capitals appeared to be dazed and confused under new coach Adam Oates.Fans hoped the former Blues star would revive Washington’s lagging offense. Thus far he hasn’t done that.Instead Oates applied the principles learned during his assistant coaching stint with the Devils.For instance, he tried to move Alexander Ovechkin from left wing to right...
Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin’s on-ice productivity may have tapered off the past few seasons, but the left winger remains a lethal offensive force on the ice and is still a feared player with the puck on his tape.
It is well-known and well-documented that Ovie is a good-time guy who knows how to enjoy his time off the ice, but unbeknownst to me until just recently...
WASHINGTON - It's no secret that Alex Ovechkin is the straw that stirs the Washington Capitals' drink, and on Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres he showed why. Ovechkin's power-play goal 5:11 into the third period stood up as the game-winner as the Capitals held on to give first-year coach Adam Oates his first victory behind the bench with a 3-2 win in front of a soldout...
Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season Sunday, and the Washington Capitals became the last NHL team to get a win, beating the Buffalo Sabres 3-2.
After a fruitless first week, Ovechkin found the net with a one-timer from the left circle on a power play with 14:49 remaining in the game. Then came the familiar celebration that had been missing thus far in this shortened...
Joel Ward, who finished Sunday’s game with a goal and an assist and leads the Capitals in goals this season, talked about what’s changed, if anything, from his game last year: “Once your linemates kind of have a good trust in you, I think things tend to flow a little bit easier. I played with Chimmer before, last year too, for a little bit. And we had a little bit of a connection...
Alex Ovechkin finally gets off the schneid. (Clydeorama)
The Washington Capitals became the final team in the National Hockey League to win a game Sunday afternoon, defeating the Buffalo Sabres by a 3-2 margin inside Verizon Center. Getting goals from Joel Ward, John Erskine, and Alex Ovechkin, the Caps came back from an early 1-0 hole by scoring three unanswered goals. The...
The Caps were put right back into the loss column by allowing an Ottawa comeback. (Yahoo)
The Washington Capitals suffered a bad loss on Tuesday night, falling to the Ottawa Senators by a 3-2 score at Scotiabank. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period off goals from Troy Brouwer and Matt Hendricks, the Capitals allowed three unanswered goals on away ice to fall...
A week into the abbreviated 48-game season, and opinions are already polarizing. Teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, and St. Louis Blues are off to incredibly-impressive starts, having won a combined sixteen games in seventeen chances. Others haven't been so lucky. Six teams have won just one game through the first eight days, and although some clubs may have...
Michal Neuvirth brings a great run of form into tonight's game. (Clydeorama)
The Washington Capitals are in Ottawa, Ontario this evening to take on the Senators in their sixth game of the 2013 campaign. The Capitals, who are 1-3-1, picked up their first win of the season Sunday afternoon and are 4th in the Southeast Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference with 3 standings...