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Alex Ovechkin nabs another OT win for Capitals

Mar 8, 2012, 10:16 PM EDT

Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals Getty Images

The common complaint is to say that Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals aren’t “clutch.” Perhaps the next wave of criticism might amount to a complete 180: maybe Ovechkin is now only clutch.*

Three of Ovechkin’s relatively low 27 goals have been game-winners this season and he’s had a particular flair for the dramatic lately. Ovechkin scored an overtime-game winner against the New York Islanders on Feb. 28 and did the same tonight with a 3-2 OT tally to drop the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the three games sandwiched in between, he hasn’t managed a single point.

Either way, Washington is very happy at the moment. The team is currently sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 72 points, enjoying a tie-breaker advantage over division rivals Winnipeg (who has the same amount of points and games played).

The Jets are just moments away from playing a tough game against the Canucks in Vancouver, so the Capitals won’t need to wait long to find out if they’ll – briefly – stand alone as the East’s current final seed.

Sure it wasn’t the prettiest contest – Mike Green might sit out a game or more for a questionable check – but ultimately the Capitals passed the first of a series of tests that will truly challenge their team during the next two weeks.

* – Personally, I tend to cringe at much of the talk of “clutchness,” at least in a sport that lacks control as much as hockey usually does.

  1. Stiller43 - Mar 8, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    I can see your point about clutchness and could very well argue it if it were up for debate.

    However, theres no denying some players tend to rise to the occasion when it counts the most and some tend to shrink (i think judas, sorry, marian hossa is a good example of anti-clutch in the playoffs pre-’09ish.)

    As a pens fan, its hard not to point to fleury in game 7 vs the caps (huge save on ovi breakaway min and half into the game) and game 7 in detroit that whole game really…yes he choked up some other times and even got pulled in that wings series, but he was “clutch” when it counted.

  2. dcfan262 - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    This is the NHL!! I smell a team starting to get hot. The Caps might be hearing up and at the right time. Ovi is still overrated.

    • scottfmullin - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:09 PM

      It was still just one game, tough to gauge how hot a team is with such a limited sample size.
      i wouldn’t be surprised if the Caps got hot, but they haven’t done anything to get a serious winning streak going since the start of the season.

    • dcfan4life - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      This win halted a 3 game losing streak and have you seen their schedule. As another Caps fan i love the victory, but cmon, lets not get ahead of ourselves here…

  3. ravenscaps48 - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    This Road Swing will judge where this hockey club is at… Detroit, Chicago, Boston, Winnipeg… Ouch. Let’s hope they can muster wins

  4. wheresdapuck - Mar 9, 2012 at 6:11 AM

    What I saw was a lot of Caps medicore play against the Bolts last night until 14 minutes of the 3rd was complete. Then a miracle happened – the Caps played like it was there last game of the season and forced a Bolt turnover and scored. So if the Caps played like that for 45 minutes a game, they would be leading the East Conference instead of 8th place.

    Note to Bolts: You don’t leave Ovi open in the right wing.

    • lsxphotog - Mar 9, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      Tell that to Brett Clark..Number 7. The guy who messed up the play out of the zone and then didn’t cover his position. Thanks Clark, you’re lucky you weren’t shipped off too.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 9, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        agreed, terrible giveaway

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