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Ovechkin admits Game 1-effort was sub-par

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Ovechkin admits Game 1-effort was sub-par
Alex Ovechkin pulled no punches analyzing his Game 1 effort against Montreal, saying "I didn't play my game."
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Alex Ovechkin was just as honest the morning after.

The Washington Capitals' captain admitted Friday that he just didn't play very well in Thursday's 3-2 overtime loss to Montreal, which put Washington down a game in his best-of-7 series. Ovechkin was held without a shot on goal for just the fourth time in his career.

He chose not to skate in Friday's optional practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, but he talked to the media for nearly 10 minutes and fielded 16 questions about his play, what he needs to do better, his health and his outlook for Saturday (7 p.m. ET, Versus, CBC, RDS)

Here is a snippet of what No. 8 had to say:

You said you were going to look at the tape and see what changes are going to be made. Have you looked at the tape and what are you conclusions?

"Well, I think our line didn't play well, so we'll make some changes and we're going to talk about what we have to do better. Maybe we were too excited, but we didn't play our game at all, especially me. I didn't play my game."

They kept you down for one game, but do you think it's possible to do it for two?

"I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but probably it's going to be a different game for us for sure. It's a long way and you can't win every game. You have to win four games to go to the next round."

Everybody is wondering if you are 100 percent healthy right now. Are you healthy?

"I'm good."

Did the Canadiens put more pressure on you than you have faced in a long time because it seemed like there two guys on you at all times?

"In playoffs everybody wants to keep the best guys on the team down, but it was my fault. I didn't play my game and our line didn't play well."

When Bruce (Boudreau) said last night that he didn't think you played very well, does that add to your motivation to come back and play a strong game Saturday?

"Yeah, when coach says those kinds of things you have to change something. I'm going to change and most of the guys are going to change because I think lots of guys didn't play their game last night."

Do you take what Bruce says as a personal challenge?

"No, it's not a personal challenge; it's a challenge to the team. If one player didn't play well and different guys didn't play well, you just have to watch the players that played well and play the same way, play the way you can play."

You are the captain now and do you feel that you were trying to do things different last night because of that?

"I don't think when I'm on the ice that I'm the captain and I have to do something differently. I just have to play better. I don't know why but last game I didn't feel that power or something, I don't know what. Maybe it was the first game and before the game I said everybody is nervous, shaky and too excited. This is the playoffs and this is a fun time."

Were you aggressive enough offensively last night?

"I tried to be and I talked to Bruce, but I didn't play my game at all last night. It's not about Montreal, it's all about me."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl


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