Alexander Ovechkin's goal against the New York Rangers
in Game 5 immediately joins the list of the most spectacular goals of his career. Watch the videos below of some of Ovechkin's best, then cast your vote to decide: which is the greatest goal of his career thus far?
Check back Sunday for the results, and also don't miss your opportunity to vote on the Game Changer moment each night of playoff action.
Thanks to all who voted -- and enjoy the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!
1. Washington at Phoenix, January 16, 2006
Known simply as "The Goal," this marker put Ovechkin on the map as a 20-year-old rookie, stunning both the home crowd in Phoenix and the Coyotes' bench. Ovechkin stickhandled past Phoenix defender (and current Ranger) Paul Mara
, ending up on his back. Rolling over on the ice, he used one hand to slide the puck past Phoenix goalie Brian Boucher
at a sharp angle.
The goal became an instant YouTube sensation, and immediately led to increased attention for Ovechkin, and increased attendance at Capitals home games.
2. Philadelphia at Washington, April 11, 2008
2008 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals, Game 1
Ovechkin's first career playoff goal remains one of his all-time best. With the Capitals and Flyers tied, 4-4, late in the third period, Ovechkin knocked away an intended breakout pass and lifted the stick of a Philadelphia defender to steal the puck. He then waited for Flyers goalie Martin Biron
to commit, and deposited the puck into the top of the net.
Ovechkin leaped into the glass to celebrate with a delirious Verizon Center crowd, and the Capitals held on to win Game 1, 5-4, although the Flyers would go on to win the series in seven games.
3. Montreal at Washington, February 18, 2009
Ovechkin's 42nd goal of the season left writers, broadcasters, and fans alike struggling for words to describe what they had just seen. Ovechkin pounced on an errant Montreal pass, avoided a collision by banking the puck off the boards to himself at center ice, stickhandled around Montreal's Roman Hamrlik
and suddenly found himself in a footrace with center Kyle Chipchura
Ovechkin held off Chipchura long enough to score from his back against goaltender Carey Price
. Washington would go on to win the game, 4-3, in a shootout.
4. N.Y. Rangers at Washington, April 24, 2009
2009 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals, Game 5
With Washington clinging to its Playoff life in Game 5, Ovechkin put the icing on a 4-0 win with a spectacular individual effort. He pounced on the puck at his own blue line, danced around Chris Drury
at the Rangers' blue line, and then dangled the puck through defenseman Derek Morris
' feet, eluding yet another attempted bodycheck. Now in the clear, Ovechkin nearly lost control of the puck. He stopped skating for a split-second, just enough time to kick the puck up to his stick, which allowed the Rangers just enough time to close on him. But Ovechkin would not be denied.
He finished the play by sliding the puck through Henrik Lundqvist
's five-hole while falling down with Aaron Voros
draped on his back, sealing the win.