[Ed. note- two big, honkin chunks of news about Semyon Varlamov and Nicklas Backstrom are broken below!]
(Hold on a second. I need to pop a handful of beta-blockers before I’m calm enough to write about this game rodeo.)
Alright. The New York Rangers looked like they could be the team to end the storied streak of hockey this year. Not the Capitals 12 wins in a row; I’m talking about my still-undefeated Russian Machine “Ovie’s bedroom eyes” shirt (now 10-0-0). Congratulations to all other lucky shirts out there as well. Eh, @ngreenberg?.
The Rangers were a driven team at MSG tonight. Led by the scary fast Marián Gáborík, they looked like they could score every time they were in the offensive zone. Now we know how every other team’s fans feel. The Rangers effortlessly scored on their first three power plays and led the Caps for all but ten seconds in the first two periods.
I’ll be honest: there were moments of doubt. Other Caps fans must have felt fleeting flashes of lapsed faith, too, but then we remembered who we’re dealing with. The Capitals of 2010 are the deepest team in the NHL. If there’s a crisis, all they need to do is summon one of their many miracle workers. Tonight it was unconquerable D-man, Tom Poti. Tom delivered the tying goal less than a minute into the third period, and Nicklas Backstrom followed him five minutes later with the game winner. The Caps would hold on to win their 12th game in a row. Tonight marks the first time in over a decade that a team has strung together that many wins.
Folks, I’m burying the lede. The big story tonight is Alexander Ovechkin scoring his 500th career point. He is only the ninth player to do so in his first five season, and the very first Russian on the list. And AO did so in his typically pivotal fashion– closing a two-goal gap at the end of the second period. Without that performance, this game would have been over.
We’ve got some big news for you behind the jump. Come on feel the noise.