Capitals-Islanders: Alex Ovechkin Takes Over in Overtime

Dave Nichols@@DaveNicholsDSPSenior Analyst IDecember 16, 2008

With less than 11 seconds remaining in overtime, Alex Ovechkin decided enough was enough.
He had watched his team fritter away a 4-2 third period lead, and he simply took the game over. After hitting the post just seconds before, Ovechkin took no chances on his second attempt.
His line mate, Niklas Backstrom, kept a bouncing puck in the zone and shot the pass to Ovechkin, who had been fore-checking, slicing through the high slot. A slight hesitation and a rocket wrist shot later, the Washington Capitals (19-10-3-41, first in Southeast) walked out of Nassau Coliseum with a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders (10-18-3-23, fifth in Atlantic).
The Capitals have won four straight games and eight of their last 10 to open a 10-point lead in the Southeast Division.
The loss was New York's seventh straight. They have dropped nine of their last 10.
Washington got out of the gate quickly. Boyd Gordon and Brooks Laich both scored "soft" goals against Islanders net-minder Joey MacDonald in the first period to open a 2-0 lead. It was Gordon's first goal in 27 games.
Veteran center Doug Weight cut the lead in half just under two minutes later, beating Caps goalie Brent Johnson with a slap shot on a power play.
The second period would see two more goals from Washington sandwiched around another power play goal from New York, this time from Richard Park. Defenseman Milan Jurcina banked a long wrist shot off an Islanders defender and Ovechkin took a beautiful no-look backward pass from Semin, who had drawn the defense—and MacDonald—away from the sniper, who buried the puck in a wide open net.
But the Islanders would not roll over, despite facing a two-goal deficit. The Isles came out blazing in the third, out-shooting the Caps 17-5 in the period, and scored twice on Andy Sutton's snap shot and a tip-in from Jon Sim on a blast from the point from Mark Streit, just seconds after a power play had expired, with 2:13 left in regulation.
The teams traded opportunities in the four-on-four overtime until late in the frame when the Capitals got a sustained flurry as time wound down. That's when Backstrom did the grunt work and Ovechkin played Superman.

Scoresheet
WAS: Gordon (2) from Brashear and Steckel (1-2:54); Laich (7) from Green and Johnson (1-14:18); Jurcina (3) from Alzner and Kozlov (2-6:07); Ovechkin (18) from Semin and Backstrom (2-16:35); Ovechkin (19) from Backstrom (OT-4:49)
NYI: Weight (7) from Park and Streit (1-16:14-PP); Park (6) from Guerin and Streit (2-14:32-PP); Sutton (2) from Hunter and Park (3-11:19); Sim (6) from Streit and Guerin (3-17:47)

Three Stars

1. A. Ovechkin—WAS (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
2. R. Park—NYI (Goals: 1, Assists: 2)
3. K. Alzner—WAS (Goals: 0, Assists: 1)

Notes
Washington had killed their last 18 penalties until Weight and Park's goals.
Ovechkin has five goals in his last three games.
Announced attendance was just 11,655 at Nassau Coliseum, but actual attendance was significantly less.
Matt Bradley dropped the gloves with Tim Jackman in the first period, both drawing five-minute majors.

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