The Washington Capitals visited Madison Square Garden for the third and final time this season. Captain Alex Ovechkin played his 800th career NHL game and Forward Taylor Chorney played his 100th career NHL game. It was also the first game as a Capital for forward Paul Carey up from Hershey.
Fun fact, after this game, Alex Ovechkin has 19 goals in 32 games against Henrik Lundqvist.
First Period: 498 for Ovi
All-Star goaltender Braden Holtby remains hot, stopping Kevin Klein early. The game’s first penalty went to T.J. Oshie for hooking at 10:10 into the period. Defenseman Karl Alzner blocked two shots and Holtby was solid. The Capitals went on the power play twice (both calls against Oshie) shortly after but could not convert.
- Alex Ovechkin collected number 498, assisted by Ranger Dan Girardi, and the Caps end the period 1-0.
Second Period: Alzner Blocks a lot of Shots.
The Capitals took another penalty early in the second but, again, Karl Alzner and Braden Holtby kept the Rangers from scoring. 3:56 into the second period, forward Justin Williams scored his 12th of the season on a breakaway that just got by Lundqvist.
- Karl Alzner continued to be a shot-blocking machine. Through two periods, he had six blocked shots, including one on his back.
- The period ends with a 2-0 lead for the Capitals.
Third Period: Saint Nick.
The Capitals are 21-0-1 when leading after 2 periods. Forward Stan Galiev and the fourth line fail to clear the puck and rookie Oscar Lindberg, assisted by Dan Moore and Ryan McDonaugh, scores his 11th of the season and puts the Rangers on the board. The Caps had a power play opportunity but they could not convert.
- Forward Kevin Hayes came out of the penalty box and then tied the game for the Rangers, 2-2, with his seventh of the season.
- Viktor Stalberg, with his sixth goal of the season, gave the Rangers their first lead of the game at the 13:11 mark of the third period. Caps head coach Barry Trotz challenged the goal for offside but he was unsuccessful.
- With six seconds left in regulation, All-Star Nicklas Backstrom scored his 13th of the season. Assisted by Justin Williams and Matt Niskanen and the Capitals and Rangers end regulation tied 3-3.
Overtime: Holy Holtby and 499 for Ovi!
Capitals and Rangers start 3-on-3 OT and it does not take long for the action to start. Braden Holtby made some fantastic saves with some help from defenseman Nate Schmidt. Seconds after the unbelievable save, the captain, Alex Ovechkin speeds into the Rangers zone and blasts one past Lundqvist for number 499. Ovechkin also tied Jamie Benn (DAL), Tyler Seguin (DAL) and Vlamdir Tarasenko (STL) for the NHL goal-scoring lead with his 24th of the season.
What a game!!! Ovechkin is now one goal away from 500 goals. During an intermission TV hit, Chuck Gormely reported that injured Caps defensemen John Carlson and Brooks Orpik could be back skating and in the lineup sooner rather than later.
Practice: Kettler Capitals Iceplex- Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 10:15am
Game: Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 7pm against the Ottawa Senators. Don’t miss it because some history could be made at Verizon Center.
Written by: Renee Garces
Photos by: Brittney Marcum