A few years ago Alex Ovechkin dubbed himself “the Russian Machine” and on Tuesday night at Verizon Center he lived up to his moniker, putting on a sublime display of efficiency and pure goal-scoring power. After his Washington Capitals spotted the Tampa Bay Lightning a three-goal lead in the opening 12 minutes, Ovechkin turned into a defiant offensive juggernaut, recording four goals, including one with 33 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime, and made his mark on the record books as he fueled Washington’s 6-5 shootout win. “You just get frustrated and especially when they score three goals . . . right away,” said Ovechkin, who became the third NHL player to record four goals in a game this year. “It’s kind of hard situation but it’s good for our team, we come back, we stick together nobody scream at each other we stay as a group and we win the game. It’s huge.” Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout, extending the Capitals’ winning streak to three games. It wouldn’t have been possible without Ovechkin taking control of a contest in a way that only he can. It was Ovechkin’s third four-goal game of his career and his 13th career hat trick. He passed Peter Bondra to become the Capitals’ all-time franchise leader in power-play goals with 138 after scoring two on the man-advantage against the Lightning. Ovechkin also remains the NHL’s leading scorer with 26 goals — six more than Anaheim’s Corey Perry and St. Louis’s Alex Steen. Ovechkin’s heroics were required after Washington got off to a dismal start. Trapped in their own zone, the Capitals were unable to record a shot on goal until 11 minutes 56 seconds had passed. No one struggled more than Mike Green, who was whistled for 18 penalty minutes including a 10-minute misconduct in the first 11 minutes 42 seconds of the contest, putting the Capitals at a significant disadvantage.
Ovechkin scores four goals as Capitals rally to beat Lightning in shootout
Washington Post | Dec 11