The good news? Alexander Ovechkin has found the net again. The bad? The Caps home game streak at Verizon has ended at 13 as the Dallas Stars stole a 4-3 shutout win.
The Caps seemed en route to another home win against the visiting Stars. After two periods, the Caps held a 2-0 lead and with a record of strong third periods, seemed destined to add to the record-breaking streak. The Stars have been lackluster of late; they entered the Verizon Center with a three game losing streak and have been outscored 17-5 since the Olympics ended.
“I thought the entire team had a hiccup in the third period,” says Caps coach Bruce Boudreau. “They [Dallas] came on [in the third period] and thought, ‘Hey, we’re still in the game.’ Once they got the first one in, I knew it was going to be a dog fight.”
Stars goalie Marty Turco’s play has been sporadic this season, but last night he showed signs of life again: a career-high 49 saves and killing four out of 5 shootout attempts helped seal the deal and netted the Stars a much-needed two points. The Caps at least walked away with a point, thanks to Ovie’s late third period goal to snatch the game from the Stars and force extra time. However, Stars forward Loui Eriksson slipped one by Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov in the fifth round of the shootout, and that was that.
Ovechkin’s two goals broke a season-high goal drought of six games, pulling him even again with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby with 44. “He was frustrated the last few games. I told him this morning, ‘You’ve got to work harder,’” Boudreau said. “You saw it in the first two or three shifts in the game — he was trying to hit guys. He had his energy back. When he has his energy, well, he is what he is: the best player in the world.”
Tom Poti opened the scoring for the Caps in the first period, followed by Ovechkin’s power play goal in the second. The Caps already had 40 shots on goal by the opening face-off of the third period.