On the road at the tail end of a tough week and struggling against illness, the Washington Capitals nonetheless whipped the black-clad asses of the best team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Nicky Backstrom kicked things off right with a rush goal to join the 20-goal club. Right on his heels was TJ Oshie, turning a second attempt into his 24th goal of the season, later followed by his 25th, a power-play tip-in early in the second period. Not to be outdone, Backstrom scored his second goal of the night. Amalie Arena was pretty bummed out at that point, but JT Miller’s late-period tip goal gave the Tampa crowd some life.
In the third period Tyler Johnson took advantage of a sloppy keep-in by Nick Jensen to score a breakaway goal. The Bolts surged after that, but then Alex Ovechkin, the Captain, the G.O.A.T., whispered nyet into the wind. He did what Ovis do: scoring his 50th and 51st goals of the season. (Kucherov got a garbage-time goal, no one cared.)
Bailamos for 50 (and 51)!
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) March 30, 2019
We’ve had so many of these milestones that I worry about repeating myself, but at the same time I really don’t. Here goes:
Watching Alex Ovechkin has been such a profound privilege, I don’t know if I can articulate it. But that’s my job. I document what Ovi does, but more so I think I document how it feels to see Ovi do what he does. Ovi operates at the upper limit of human performance. He’s an elite athlete in the rare way that doesn’t cheapen the word elite. He skates fast, hits hard, and scoars moar. And animating all that offense is an indomitable spirit. A silver-haired vet at age 33, Ovechkin is somehow more playful than ever. He’s ageless.
Hockey is a sport sometimes too spare on fun and too light on personality. But then there’s Ovi. I hope there’s always an Ovi. Thank you for being Ovi, Ovi.
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