Analysis: Ovechkin answering his Olympic critics

Analysis: Ovechkin answering his Olympic critics
March 1, 2014, 5:30 pm
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No Olympic hangover for Ovi

Analysis of the Capitals’ 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins Saturday afternoon at TD Garden:

How it happened: Alex Ovechkin is silencing his Olympic critics in a big way. With a pair of power-play goals against the Bruins he now has three in his last two games, improving his league-leading total to 43. Joel Ward and Eric Fehr also picked up goals for the Caps.

What it means: The Caps [29-23-9, 67 points] have won four straight and remain one point out of the playoff picture. That could change on Sunday when they face the Flyers at Verizon Center [12:30 p.m., NBC]. The Flyers stayed one point ahead of the Caps with a 4-2 in over the Rangers on Saturday. A win over Philadelphia on Sunday would move the Caps into third place in the Metropolitan Division.

[RELATED: Ovechkin notches his 800th career point (VIDEO)]

Who’s hot: Ovechkin has 17 points in his past 11 games. He recorded a game-high nine shots in Boston and had two more blocked.

Quick draws: The Caps had a rough day in the faceoff circle, winning just 40 percent. Casey Wellman and Joel Ward were a combined 0-for-10.

No Erat: Marty Erat sat out Saturday’s game after being hobbled by a blocked shot in Florida on Thursday night. Wellman [10:03] saw time on the Caps’ second line, while rookie Nicolas Deschamp logged a team-low 5:37.

Who’s in goal? Braden Holtby stopped 36 of 38 shots to earn his second straight win after the Olympic break. Before the road trip, Capitals coach Adam Oates said he would probably alternate his goalies this weekend, but with two days off between Sunday’s game in D.C. and Wednesday’s game in Philadelphia, Oates may give Holtby another start on Sunday.

Look ahead: Every game for the Capitals is a big one, but these next two against Philadelphia [Sunday at VerizonCenter, Wednesday in South Philly] could determine which team will make the playoffs and which won’t.