Breaking Down the Capitals' Successful Tandem of Ribeiro and Ovechkin

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Breaking Down the Capitals' Successful Tandem of Ribeiro and Ovechkin
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

With the Washington Capitals' season in the balance Thursday and Friday night, on the road, against the Southeast Division-leading Winnipeg Jets, it was Alexander Ovechkin who came to the rescue.

When the Caps absolutely needed their captain the most, Ovi responded on Thursday night with a goal and two assists as the Caps shutout Winnipeg, again, 4-0.

For an encore on Friday night, Ovechkin scored two more goals and the Caps completed a sweep of the Jets, in Winnipeg no less, with an emphatic 6-1 win.

The Caps have gone from seemingly dead in the water to very much alive in the very tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference.

The Caps currently sit just five points behind the Jets for the division lead, but they are now just three points behind the slumping Carolina Hurricanes for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

What was somewhat unique about the Caps' wins over the Jets was that Mike Ribeiro did not assist on any of Ovi's goals. Perhaps equally as odd was the fact that neither of Ovechkin's assists on Thursday went to the man called "Ribs."

To say that the tandem of Mike Ribeiro and Alexander Ovechkin has been one of the few success stories in D.C. during a difficult 2013 season would be an understatement. While they may not be conjuring memories of such pairings as Gretzky and Messier or Lemieux and Jagr—at least not yet—the tandem of Ribeiro and Ovechkin has been as effective and successful a pairing as has been seen in Washington in a very long time.

How successful have they been and what has been the secret to their success? Let's take a closer look at the most dangerous duo on the Washington Capitals this season.

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