Alex Ovechkin scores on difficult angle vs. Sharks
Tuesday night’s game between the Caps and the San Jose Sharks provided little in the way of offense, but Alex Ovechkin still managed to add another spectacular goal to his already lengthy highlight reel.
Midway through the second period, Mikhail Grabovski skated behind the Sharks’ net after a loose puck. As he was being pressured, he flicked the puck back in front of the net. It found Ovechkin on the stick and he tipped it back to a wide-open Karl Alzner.
Instead of taking the open shot, however, Alzner decided to pass it right back to the captain. Ovechkin then one-timed the rolling puck into the roof of the net for an improbable goal.
The puck was rolling, it was a small target on a difficult angle, but when you’re Ovechkin, sometimes it doesn’t have to make sense.
“I shoot the puck and it goes in,” he said. “One of those shots. It was lucky and a good shot.”
Ovechkin’s league-leading 33rd goal of the season turned out to be the Caps’ lone goal of the game. In a night when San Jose netminder Antti Niemi stopped every great chance the Caps could throw at him, he was unable to save the one that looked the least likely to actually go in.
The play was only possible thanks to the nice assist from Alzner. Ovechkin was initially covered by Sharks center Tommy Wingels, but Wingels abandoned Ovechkin when he saw Alzner open for the shot. The quick pass back found a suddenly open Ovechkin ready for the one-timer.
“[Alzner] did a good assist and gave me the puck at the right time and the right spot,” said Ovechkin.
Niemi wasn’t the only one who was caught off guard by the shot.
“I was actually mad,” said head coach Adam Oates. “I was yelling at [Alzner] for not shooting at the time.” Oates thought Alzner had missed a good shooting opportunity on the play electing to pass it back to Ovechkin. Oates described his quick mood change on the bench saying he thought, “ok, we passed our shot, oh nice goal.”
It’s those fluky goals that the Caps have relied on as of late to avoid a big drop in the standings. In their past two games, the Caps have only tallied twice with Ovechkin’s all-star worthy goal tonight and Jason Chimera’s shot Sunday that was tipped in by Buffalo’s Brian Flynn. Without those goals, the Caps would be scoreless and pointless in their last two.
They will need more offense than that if they hope to defeat the rival Penguins Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.
For tonight, however, Ovechkin’s goal was good for one badly needed point for the Caps.