What a week! The Washington Capitals do love their dramatic finishes.
Needless to say, the Washington Capitals have extended their winning streak to 14 and Alex Ovechkin has once again proven his dominance over Sidney Crosby.
Washington didn’t play well yesterday. I can spend an hour whining about the mistreatment by the officials, but needless to say, the Penguins were given an ample edge to win the game yesterday by both the officiating crew and the Capitals themselves.
After Crosby made the game 2-0 Ovechkin finally answered for the good guys. After Jordan Staal made it 4-1, the refs had successfully eliminated the Caps top scoring line by having Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom , and the Great 8 all in the penalty box.
Eric Fehr helped cut the lead to two, but shortly thereafter more Caps penalties gave Pittsburgh a 5-on-3 advantage to end the second and begin the third period. The Caps’ penalty killers helped keep Pittsburgh from converting on either penalty.
When all of the penalties finally expired, the Caps could finally get down to the business of winning with their top line back out on the ice. It was Alex Ovechkin with the Caps’ third and fourth goals to tie it up. Interesting tidbit; this is the second consecutive year Alex Ovechkin has registered a hat-trick on Super Bowl Sunday.
This was a huge hat-trick. It was the first hat-trick scored by a Washington Capital this year. It was the game-tying goal for Washington, and with the Penguins sitting on the bench with two players with two goals each (Crosby and Staal) it was poetic that it would be Alex Ovechkin that got three goals, and would force an overtime period.
I had been on the edge of my seat the whole game (well, technically it was an ottoman directly in front of my TV), but when Ovie scored I jumped to my feet screaming “Yes!! Yes!!! Ovie with the hat-trick!! Yes!!!” I was so excited I sent the cat running for cover!
She must have thought I’d lost my mind because I had spent most of the afternoon screaming profanities at the TV. The profanities would continue when Malkin wasn’t called for cross-checking Semin to the ice; he wasn’t called for the subsequent hook as he jabbed his stick into Semin’s belly and began yanking. No, the ref’s arm didn’t go up until Matt Cooke broke his stick trying to get the puck away from the boards.
The refs called it a slash, but it was clear they didn’t see a Cap slash Cooke’s stick, they just saw the broken stick and decided that was evidence enough to give Pittsburgh a late power-play, with the game tied and a little less than five minutes to go.
The Caps’ penalty killers were up to the task, and they kept the game tied forcing an overtime.
As the teams skated out to start the overtime period four-on-four, I just knew the refs were going to call something. I think I was just as shocked as Pittsburgh was when the penalty they called was against Pittsburgh. After getting away with damn-near everything throughout the game, it was a stick-check to Alex Semin’s face that drew the penalty.
Brooks Orpik had both hands on his stick, and pushed it right into the Alex Semin’s face. This wasn’t “incidental” and it wasn’t even the dirtiest play by Pittsburgh during the game. Orpik’s take on the hit was that Semin was “a baby” but I got news for you Orpik; it was intentional, it was illegal, and you’d gotten away with plenty throughout the rest of the game.
It was Orpik’s penalty that gave the Caps a 4-on-3 advantage and it was Alex Ovechkin’s shot that gave Mike Knuble the tip in goal for the win.
Even though the house was empty except for me and the cat, I lept from the ottoman again and began running up and down the hallway screaming like a crazy person!
The once cocky Pittsburgh fans on ESPN’s section 140 message board had changed their tune from one of ridicule, to a stance of “it’s only a regular season game, no big deal.”
Yeah, it didn’t stop them from telling us all how great Cindy Crybaby was when he got his two goals and tied Ovechkin for the league lead in goals (the tie only lasted until the second period, Alex now leads by three). Got news for you Pitt; the Caps extended their winning streak to 14, and you have been two notches in that streak. We all know the streak has got to end sometime, but we didn’t have to suffer the indignity of losing it to you. For just one night, whenever the hockey press goes on to tell us all how great your Crosby is, he is a footnote to what Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals did to you.
What was it you Pittsburgh fans kept saying? “Only losers whine about the refs?” Well, look at the score-board. 5-4 and look at who is whining about the refs now. The Caps overcame you, and your officials and still found a way to win.
Want to talk more trash? The Caps are 11-3-3 versus your division. The Caps have more wins against your division than anyone of the teams in your division; including you.
The Caps have three more games before the Olympic break and they are all this week. Those three games all take place on the road and they happen in the span of four days. The Caps start things off in Montreal on Wednesday, then shift over to Ottawa on Thursday. They wrap up against St. Louis on Saturday as the final game before the Olympic break.
This isn’t good for Washington, as Ottawa just ended an 11-game streak of their own and they will be on their home ice facing a Caps team that will have played a game the night before.
For now, the streak continues…
C! A! P! S! Caps! Caps! Caps!
One More Side Note: While Washington was busy facing Pittsburgh, their AHL team the Hershey Bears were facing Pittsburgh’s AHL team. Hershey also found itself with a three goal deficit. Hershey also had a player get a hat-trick (Matt Perrault) and Hershey beat the Baby Pens in OT.