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In T.J. Oshie's return to Missouri Alex Ovechkin netted a hat trick, including his 50th of the year, and Braden Holtby tied the NHL record for most wins in a season in front of (now) co-record holder Martin Brodeur, an Assistant GM for the Blues. What a night of hockey for the Washington Capitals.
First up here's Saturday night's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: The compete level was present from Washington all night and there's no better present than that with playoffs beginning next week.
- Minus: An early goal allowed the Scottrade Center to get behind their team and get loud. Nothing we would want to see at Wells Fargo Center in Games 3, 4, or (ugh) 6.
Eleven more notes on the game.
- Vladimir Tarasenko got the scoring started early, burying his 40th goal of the season 75 seconds into the contest. Alex Pietrangelo and Paul Stastny picked up up the helpers.
- However, less than 3 minutes later, Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson teamed up to feed Ovechkin a gift for his 48th of the year. With Carlson in the slot Brian Elliott committed to the defenseman's chance, leaving himself no chance one the puck was passed to Ovechkin.
- Ovechkin then fired home a smart looking snap shot just before the first period's seven minute mark. A faceoff win from Backstrom allowed Ovechkin to step into the slot and wire a shot that bested Elliott glove side for his second.
- Jay Beagle took a Taresenko wrist shot off the inside of his left skate boot and was immediately crippled. He worked his slow way to the bench and was promptly escorted down the tunnel into the locker room. He did not return to the game.
- Washington was the better team through the opening twenty, doubling up their hosts on shots and winning more than 66% of their draws. Despite the early Tarasenko tally the team dug their heels in and began pushing their style of play immediately.
- Their strong play continued in the second with the team extending their lead to two goals courtesy of a Carlson backhander. Tom Wilson froze everyone with a fake shot attempt that allowed Carlson to slip the puck into the net moments later.
- And just past the game's halfway mark Jason Chimera hustled to the net to tap in a beautiful Evgeny Kuznetsov backhand pass to put the game out of reach. After Kuztensov turned around Carl Gunnarsson he ladled the puck through the slot to Chimera's forehand.
- The goal was Chimera's twentieth of the season, making this his second twenty goal campaign. His first came with the Capitals in 2011-2012. The goal also marked his fortieth point of the season - also a career second (2013-2014). Gotta give George McPhee credit for getting that transaction completed in late 2009.
- The offensive surge would end Elliott's night after forty minutes, Ken Hitchcock electing to go with Anders Nilsson to close out the contest.
- And with a little less than ten minutes to play Ovechkin snapped home a pass from Backstrom to complete his seventh career fifty goal season. He would end the night with three goals against two different goaltenders and ten total shots on goal.
- Holtby would make 19 saves on his way to tying Brodeur's NHL record. Now the question is, does Barry Trotz turn to him again tomorrow night?
Washington will complete their regular season tomorrow night against the Anaheim Ducks before turning their complete and undivided attention to Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux, and the rest of the Philadelphia Flyers. Check back all week for our Get to Know series where we break down who is who on the Flyers' roster.