Alex Ovechkin is the NHL’s all-time leader in power-play goals with 290. To get to that record, Ovechkin developed one of the most powerful one-timers in league history from the left circle – a ramping, heavy shot that sometimes has an unpredictable destination.
On Friday against the Lightning, Ovechkin fired 10 shot attempts at Andrei Vasilevskiy during his 11:25 of power-play ice time.
It was his shot attempts at the very end of the third period that could have ramifications for the Lightning.
Ovechkin hurt two Lightning players on the same power play with nearly identical shots from his office. Ovi first sent Erik Cernak out of the game first after the Bolts’ defenseman went down to block a one-timer. Ovi’s shot went off the back of Cernak’s ankle and at the top of his skate. The ricocheted puck flew deep into the stands causing a whistle.
#ALLCAPS Alex Ovechkin just fired a one-timer that was blocked by Erik Cernak and then ricocheted into the air and landed about 10 rows into the stands
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) November 12, 2022
At first, Cernak seemed fine. Then a few seconds later, he was overwhelmed by pain and had to be helped down the tunnel to Tampa’s locker room.
Vasilevskiy makes an unbelievable save after Ovechkin's one-timer rang the post and came out the other side, but Cernak is getting help back to the locker room now after he took a heavy Ovechkin one-timer right to the back of the leg.
— Chris Krenn (@Chris_Krenn) November 12, 2022
After the next faceoff, Ovechkin got another opportunity from his office and Mikhail Sergachev went down to block the shot. Ovechkin’s shot went off Sergachev’s right elbow and the Russian rearguard instantly crumpled to the ice.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) November 12, 2022
Sergeachev returned to the bench and sat backwards as he tried to let the pain pass. Eventually, he decided to go down to the locker room, too.
With Cal Foote lost earlier in the evening due to a headshot from Nicolas Aube-Kubel, the Lightning ended the game down three defensemen.
“Those are guys with championship pedigrees,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. “That’s what you have to do to win in this league and it’s engrained in guys. It’s tough to see when you see a really good defenseman go out and eat those shots. They’ve been doing that their whole careers here and that’s why they’re so valuable.”
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper was frustrated that his players took so many penalties to a Capitals team that at times has such a dominant power play.
“One of the things, you know it’s coming,” Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said of Ovi’s one-timers. “Just gotta make sure you flex out on it. A couple times we were light on the flex out. It takes guts to stand in front of those.”
He added, “You know what the problem was? When you take 12 minutes in penalties, you’re bound to eat one of those. That was a little bit of the problem I had, the penalties we took were senseless. Then there are guys who have to go out there and eat those shots. It was a shame on us for that.
The Lightning and Capitals rematch on Sunday night in Tampa Bay. The Bolts did not call up a defenseman from AHL Syracuse on Saturday but did claim a forward, Rudolfs Balcers, off waivers from the Florida Panthers.
“I’m hoping they’re okay,” Cooper said of his defensemen.
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