Found April 17, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Washington-capitals
Time to start the MVP talk for Alex Ovechkin, who scored his NHL-leading 28th goal, stood up for a teammate who got rammed into the boards, and led the Washington Capitals to their eighth straight win. The Capitals also managed to play well with a lead for a change and enjoyed a rare dominating win over a team outside their division. The 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night left little doubt that Washington is again a force in the Eastern Conference. ''To get a decisive win against them tonight,'' forward Troy Brouwer said, ''it shows us that we belong where we are.'' Jack Hillen, Martin Erat, Marcus Johansson and Brouwer also scored, and Braden Holtby made 29 saves for the Capitals, who remained four points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets atop the Southeast Division with five games to play. But it was Ovechkin who earned his captain's ''C'' against the Maple Leafs. There was his goal - a one-timer from the top of the left circle during a power play. There was his assist - a pass from nearly the same spot that was tipped in by Erat. And there was his don't-mess-with-my-linemate crash into Jay McClement after McClement knocked Nicklas Backstrom head-first into the boards in the first period. A massive scrum ensued, but only Ovechkin was penalized - for charging - and the Capitals gained momentum by killing the penalty. ''You can hear the crowd, you know?'' Ovechkin said. ''The guys said they were going to kill it all day long.'' Washington's Jason Chimera picked a fight with McClement later in the period, but coach Adam Oates and the rest of the Capitals lauded Ovechkin most for sticking up for Backstrom. ''I just step up for my teammate,'' Ovechkin said. ''And again, I think any one of them would do the same if it were happening to me.'' Ovechkin also said the team made sure to talk about the need to ''play for a win'' after taking a 4-0 lead. The Capitals blew a four-goal lead in their previous game and needed overtime to pull out the victory. Put it all together, and Oates was more than ready to make the case for Ovechkin to reclaim the MVP trophy the Russian forward won in 2008 and 2009. ''I'm obviously very biased about that, so my answer would be, yeah, absolutely,'' Oates said. ''Obviously, Sidney Crosby is another candidate, for sure. He had such a scoring lead. But I think you've got to factor in the fact that he's missed a lot of games. ... Alex has really led our team. You see it every night now.'' The Capitals have been feasting on the weak Southeast, going 14-3 within the division, but they entered Tuesday's game just 9-14-2 against the rest of the East. All but two of those nine wins were by one goal. So it was a major morale boost that they were able to manhandle Toronto, which is closing in on the franchise's first playoff berth since 2004. The Maple Leafs had won four of five, but they looked sluggish one night after they beat the New Jersey Devils 2-0 at home on Monday. Toronto was down 4-0 to the Capitals before Mikhail Grabovski scored in the third period. ''It looked like we had nothing in the tank, nothing to give,'' Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. ''We weren't playing anywhere near the level which was required.'' McClement said his hit on Backstrom wasn't malicious. ''I was just back-checking on him, and it looked like he went in pretty awkwardly,'' McClement said. ''I'm definitely not that kind of player.'' The Capitals drew their usual close-to-full house, with fans seemingly undeterred by the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Security was increased at the Verizon Center, although mostly behind-the-scenes and so subtly that many noticed little or no difference as they endured the usual bags searches and screenings by hand-held metal detectors. Arena workers said there were extra security patrols, specifically checking trash cans and security cameras before the building was open to the public. The huge scoreboard went dark shortly before the opening faceoff for a moment of silence. Ovechkin, with his 19th goal in 18 games, moved two ahead of Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos in the NHL's goal-scoring race, although Stamkos pulled back within one when he scored against the Jets later in the evening. ''He's very lethal, very dynamic and energetic out there,'' Toronto defenseman Mark Fraser said of Ovechkin. ''Everyone on the ice knows when he's on the ice, that's just his presence. ... When he's determined, he's a force to stop.'' NOTES: Maple Leafs LW Joffrey Lupul returned after missing five games with a concussion. ... Erat's goal was his first since he was acquired in a trade-deadline deal with the Nashville Predators.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Alex Ovechkin plays soccer with fans at Six Flags

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin was at a season ticket holders event at Six Flags America and he showed off his soccer skills for them.  Looks like Ovechkin could play in the MLS with a kick like that. [YouTube]

Alex Ovechkin can score a mean soccer goal

Vlogger, "Alex Ovechkin spends some fun time with the fans at the Washington Capitals Season Ticket Holder Event at Six Flags America. Recorded April 14, 2013." **Follow us on Twitter or... Full story at Bob's Blitz ~ http://www.bobsblitz.com

Can the Caps keep Mike Ribeiro?

Last night during the Washington/Toronto game, CSN Washington asked the viewers, as they do every game, to weigh in on a particular matter via Twitter.  The topic of the day was, essentially, what has been the biggest reason for the Caps’ surge over the past month.  While not every person tweeted the same thing, the overarching theme was the strong play of Alexander Ovechkin...

Alex Ovechkin Selling 2009 Mercedes SL65 For $250,000!

Known daredevil and car enthusiast Alex Ovechkin has surprisingly decided to sell his pristine 2009 Mercedes SL65 AMG…

Capitals 5, Maple Leafs 1

Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 28th goal, and the Washington Capitals enjoyed a rare feeling of dominance outside their division Tuesday night, winning their eighth straight with a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jack Hillen, Martin Erat, Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson also scored, and Braden Holtby made 29 saves for the Southeast Division-leading Capitals. The...

Capitals-Senators Preview

Alex Ovechkin is playing like an MVP while pacing the NHL in goals as the streaking Washington Capitals sit atop their division. Yes, things are beginning to sound like days past in the nation's capital. Washington seeks a ninth consecutive victory as it goes on the road looking to snap the Ottawa Senators' three-game winning streak Thursday night in a possible first-round...

Maple Leafs-Capitals Preview

While the Washington Capitals continue to surge, they might have received a wake-up call in their last contest. Looking to remain undefeated in April with an eighth consecutive victory, the Capitals try to avoid a season sweep at the hands of the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. Washington (23-17-2) scored five goals in less than 1 1/2 periods Saturday at home against...

Caps Tweet Prayers to Boston

With the news of explosions at the Boston Marathon on Monday, members of the Washington Capitals organization, past and present, sent out prayers to the victims. We here at Caps Outsider would like to do the same. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the travesty in Boston. — Matt Hendricks (@MattHendy26) [...]

About Last Night…Ovechkin, Caps Post 8th Straight Win

Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 28th goal of the season as Washington pounded Toronto 5-1 for an eighth straight win.  Ovechkin had a super-slow start to the season but he’s proving the old adage that it’s about how you finish. SPIN: Washington went 2-of-6 on the power play to power the win. Mike Green, Mike Ribiero and John Carlson each had a pair of assists so the...

The Russian Players

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch, “There are good stereotypes and bad, and most people focus on the bad,” said Slava Malamud, a senior writer for the Russian daily Sport Express and a correspondent for NHL.com. Malamud, based in Washington, was in such a rush to get to Columbus to talk to Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, he got a speeding ticket...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.