Photo: Jacquelyn Martin
On the 27th Capitals shot of the game, Alex Ovechkin fired a puck from the far circle on the power play. At 30, Ovechkin became the fifth-fastest player to reach 500 goals in National Hockey League history. His teammates poured over the bench in recognition of the greatest player in Washington’s 41 year history. The game, and the league, stopped to take notice. The Senators filed off the ice to one of the loudest ovations in Verizon Center history as Ovechkin raised his arms in triumph. In the third, Ovechkin became the league leader in goals with his 26th score of the season and the 501st of his career.
Some other stuff happened in the game that I will now talk about.
The Caps dominated the game at the drop, striking first eight minutes into the game after Andre Burakovsky, who is good again, set up Justin Williams for his second goal is as many games. Less than three minutes later TJ Oshie extended the lead to two with a PPG. The Caps coasted after that, twice going on the penalty kill, but survived unscathed.
In the second, Ottawa got on the board after a colossal offensive zone screw up by the second line led to Mike Hoffman’s 20th goal of the season on a two-on-one.
Zach Sill, Washington’s actual third line center, was able to put the Sens back on their heels after Ottawa’s netminder Andrew Hammond whiffed on a pop-up in front. Dmitry Orlov made it 4-1 114 seconds later with a rocket from the far circle.
Tom Wilson added another, bookended by Ovechkin two historic tallies. Caps beat Sens 7-1!
Joe B’s historic ensemble.
Through 42 games, the Capitals have 32 wins. They have the best record in the NHL and are off to the best start in franchise history. They’ve won 10 in a row at home. Braden Holtby leads the league in wins and Alex Ovechkin leads the league in goals. Despite a heavily depleted lineup, the Capitals hit 67 points on January 10 after missing the playoffs just two years ago. They continue to improve five-on-five. And Sunday night you saw something special, the biggest milestone in the career of the greatest goal-scorer of all time.
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