Ovechkin named NHL's 1st star of the week

Ovechkin named NHL's 1st star of the week
October 7, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Grabovski, Ovechkin share same stats and same address

When Alex Ovechkin accepted an invitation by the Socchi 2014 Organizing Committee to fly to Greece for the lighting of the Olympic torch two days before the Capitals’ season opener, many wondered how much energy the 28-year-old captain would have in the first week of the season.

Some questioned the Capitals’ decision to allow Ovechkin to make the 9-hour flights to and from Greece, saying it compromised his ability to have an impact on the start of the season.

Ovechkin silenced all of those critics by recording a league-high four goals, six points and 24 shots in his first three games of the season and on Monday he was named the NHL’s First Star for the opening week of the season.

“I felt good,” Ovechkin said Monday. “When I flew there I didn’t change my [sleeping] time. I napped 30 minutes on the way back.

“My teammates and my linemates are giving me a chance to score goals. Everybody knows I love to shoot the puck.”

With Ovechkin leading the way, the Caps own the NHL’s top-ranked power play with six goals on 12 man-advantages. But it’s at 5-on-5 where the Caps have struggled, getting outscored 8-3.

“The team has to be better,” Ovechkin said. “It’s the beginning of the year, we just have to regroup and play better. We can’t wait for power play all the time. We just have to make changes 5-on-5.”

Ovechkin said that after three games in three cities in a span of five nights, the Caps were in need of a day off on Sunday. The team will practice again on Tuesday and Wednesday before opening a five-game homestand on Thursday night at VerizonCenter.

“I think we were a little bit tired after training camp and right away three games, two away games,” Ovechkin said. “Its always nice to have a couple days off, spend some time with the family and just don’t think about hockey. I think it’s going to be good for us.”