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Ovi: Game 1 a 'wakeup call'

by Dan Rosen
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Not surprisingly, Alex Ovechkin is ready to move on from Game 1. But, the Washington Capitals' captain also wasn't about to make any promises for Game 2 tonight.

Ovechkin was held without a point or a shot on goal Thursday night. The last time that happened, Jan. 19 against Detroit, he rebounded with 3 goals, 2 assists and a total of 14 shots on goal over the next two games.

However, when asked what we all should expect from No. 8 against Montreal tonight at Verizon Center, the answer was a simple, "I don't know. I don't know."

Ovechkin will likely come out with more energy than he had in Game 1. He admitted Friday he didn't play with the same power that he usually does, so expect that to change as the Capitals' try to even this series after losing Game 1 in overtime, 3-2.

How will he get that power? Well, you'll have to read on to find out. Here is a transcript of Ovechkin's five-minute session with the media after Washington's morning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

What do you expect out of the matchup tonight?

"Playoffs start and I think everybody right is just calm and everybody realizes that every time you have a chance you have to score or you have to do something. You can't make mistakes. If you have a chance to hit, you have to hit."

You guys hadn't played a meaningful game in a month and all of a sudden, as your coach put it, there is finality to this. Was that one of the biggest things you guys realized?

"I think it was just a wakeup call. You're right, we didn't play our best game or an intense game probably the last month, but in the playoffs you concentrate 100 percent and every time you have a chance to do something you just concentrate. That's probably the biggest thing, but today is a new day and a new game.

Thinking back to last game, was it more what they did to you or what you couldn't accomplish?

"They played great. You can't say nothing, they played great against our line and the whole team. But I watched video of my shifts and today I'm going to try to do some different things."

What is the best way for you to counteract the Canadiens' six left-handed defensemen?

"You know, that's a question not for me but for coach I think."

In January, when Detroit held you to no shots, you came back with two very strong games after that. Can you describe what thought process went through your head in preparing for what was not a strong game for you?

"Everybody feels fresh and everybody feels healthy. You watch the game and I watched the highlights this morning. Everybody was just flying and used their body 100 percent. Every time we have to do something we have to do it. Score goals, block some shots, make some hits. It's the playoffs and you don't have time to make mistakes."

What about for you personally, was there anything you took motivation from that helped you come back with some strong performances in January?

"Well, I don't need motivation right now. I forget last game. I know everybody is reminding me about last game, so thank you guys. How I say, it's just hockey. You can't play every game the same every night, the best. Sometimes you don't feel that good but in the playoffs you have to do something. What? I don't know. Drink more energy drinks. Listen to more music. I don't know. You just have to do something."

There was a moment early in Game 1 when you tried to hit Hal Gill and you nearly went through the door to Montreal's bench. Did that nick you up at all, bang you up at all?

"No. I saw the open door and when I went back (to our bench) I was like, 'Jesus, if I had hit this door I could be done.' But, I'm sitting here, I give you interview and I'm going to play tonight."

What did you do Friday to relax?

"Well my friend is here and we go walking in Georgetown, ate sushi, played video games. I just relaxed mentally. It was nothing special, no crazy things."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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