-- Given a little more than 12 hours to watch some film and think about Alex Ovechkin
's effort Monday night, Washington coach Bruce Boudreau
believes it was the exact performance the Capitals needed from their leader and best player.
Ovechkin didn't score a goal, but he had two assists and was sparkling on the defensive end. Outside of Nicklas Backstrom
and Simeon Varlamov, Ovechkin was the best player on the ice. He again was certainly the most noticeable.
"I thought he really competed hard," Boudreau said. "The test was the backcheck on the breakaway (by Lauri Korpikoski
). You don't see that in the score sheet and everything, but man, that was a great backcheck. To knock it off his stick without taking a penalty at the same time it was a thing that only great athletes can do.
"Other than that, he was a leader where he was vocal on the bench and he played within the system. He did all the things right and that's what great players do."
Backstrom, who had three assists, four hits and a plus-2 rating in 20:58, said the rest of the Capitals know how essential it is to pick up the scoring slack when Ovechkin gets blanked.
"All the Rangers team is looking at him because he scored 56 goals and that makes opportunities for other guys," Backstrom said. "We have to score if he doesn't score. That's something we work on. Alex is a great person and he's got a big heart. He doesn't mind if everybody else scores. He's a team player and that's what makes him successful."