|Alex Ovechkin netted a hat trick and 2 assists last night in a 10-2 win against the Bruins. Watch Bruins-Capitals highlights|
Alex The Great – Alex Ovechkin was angry.
That was bad news for the Boston Bruins.
The Hart Trophy candidate entered Monday’s action with just one goal in his last eight games, and decided to take out his frustration on what had been a hot Bruins club.
Ovechkin scored three goals and added two assists, leading the Washington Capitals to a 10-2 victory at the Verizon Center. Sixty percent of Washington’s tallies came in the first period, as the Caps held a 6-0 lead after 20 minutes.
''Today everything just went to the net,'' Ovechkin said. ''You are going to score (in) lots of games, and some you (won't). I always tell myself not to think about goals and to just play how I can.''
Ovechkin nearly scored his fourth goal of the night in the third period, but the tally later was credited to Brooks Laich. With the victory, the Capitals snapped Boston’s six-game winning streak. They also got their star player going again.
''When you go in an eight-game scoring slump, and you're that good, you're going to start scoring again,'' Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. ''You just can't hold him back, like you can't hold (Sidney) Crosby back and (Evgeni) Malkin back for any length of time. Those guys are good hockey players.''
Just like Boston’s Tim Thomas is a good goaltender, although the All-Star probably didn’t sleep very well after being pulled twice during a loss that at the time must have felt more embarrassing than the Godzilla remake.
''It's really tough to take,'' Thomas said. ''It was embarrassing. On the other hand, what's the difference? If you lost 3-2 or you lost like that, we're still in the playoffs as of now. You definitely should learn from it, but you can't get too far down.''
The 2003 Conn Smythe Trophy winner reached his third straight 30-win season Monday night with a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Giguere made 24 saves to beat the team he had to defeat in order to help the Ducks claim the 2007 Stanley Cup.
“You can’t do that without having a pretty good team,” Giguere said of the milestone. “Fortunately for me, the last few years have been a lot of fun. The guys have been amazing in front of me. It’s been a whole lot of fun.”
While Giguere gave the credit to his teammates for the tremendous accomplishment, Ducks forward Travis Moen was quick to give his netminder the accolades he so rightfully deserves. Giguere is 9-1-1 in his last 11 starts, with a 1.27 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage.
“He comes up with big saves when we need them,” Moen said. “He’s played unbelievable the last 10 games. Hopefully we’ll look forward to that down the stretch and get some big wins from him.”
Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer agrees. Anaheim – which has won six in a row – improved to 23-8-3 since Niedermayer returned from what has become a postponed retirement.
''He made some huge saves again tonight,'' Niedermayer said. ''He's making big saves. You need that in this League, and he's giving us that right now.''
The Sharks returned to HP Pavilion for the first time since Feb. 14 in dramatic fashion, as Joe Thornton had two goals and two assists, while Campbell scored on a gorgeous spin-o-rama late in the third period of an intense 6-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
"He told me he was going to pull that trick out," said Thornton, who grew up with Campbell in Ontario. "He's been doing it since age 10, so that's no different. He's been like that since I've known him. ... There was just so much skill out there on the ice tonight. They obviously have so much skill on their team, and it was just two powerhouses going at it."
Campbell – a potential unrestricted free agent on July 1 – apparently couldn’t hear the Sharks’ faithful screaming, “Sign him! Sign him!”, but he surely couldn’t think of a better script for his first home game with his new team.
“I never usually score, but I had to do one tonight just for the fans in my first game here,” Campbell said. “It’s nice to come home here and give the fans a win.”
Winning is the only thing the Sharks have done since acquiring Campbell from the Buffalo Sabres seven days ago, going 4-0 with him in the lineup. The All-Star defenseman appears to be just as happy to be with the Sharks as they are to have him.
“I like it like that,” Campbell said. “We worked hard on the road. That was a playoff atmosphere here tonight with these guys. It’s been fun. I’ve really enjoyed it. The guys have been great in the locker room. It’s been a pleasant surprise. I’m pretty comfortable here.”
Contact Brian Compton at: firstname.lastname@example.org.