Alex Ovechkin scored goal No. 40 -- and No. 41 -- of an amazing
rookie year. Olie Kolzig got his 250th career win. Jeff Friesen
reached 500 career points.
All on a night in which the Capitals won by three goals, which
also doesn't happen very often. Monday night's 5-2 victory over the
New York Islanders left coach Glen Hanlon spoiled for choice when
asked to choose which of the above made him happiest.
"Olie," Hanlon said. "It's a team game, but doggone it, he's
been a battler here and it meant a lot to him, and he doesn't
really let on. But on nights like this when he gets a milestone, we
just feel great, especially with the commitment he's made to the
community and the hockey team and his wishes to finish his career
The Capitals hope to be saying the same in future years about
Ovechkin, who scored in his sixth straight game, matching his best
streak, and became the first Capitals player to hit the 40-goal
mark since Peter Bondra had 45 in 2000-01.
Ovechkin also added a third-period assist for his 76th point of
the season, 10 ahead of Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby in the rookie
Want more? Ovechkin has the most goals by a rookie since
1992-93, the year Eric Lindros had 41 and Teemu Selanne scored an
"His consistency is amazing," Hanlon said. "All first-year
players seem to have some peaks and valleys to their game, and Alex
is able to continue to play well."
Ovechkin beat goaltender Garth Snow with a slapshot from the top
of the left circle early in the second period for the game's first
goal. He scored again when he stationed himself by the crease
during a faceoff and directed Mike Green's pass into the net with
0.5 seconds remaining in the period, giving the Capitals a 3-1
In the third period during a power play, Ovechkin supplied the
cross-ice pass for Bryan Muir's one-timer that restored a two-goal
lead. Muir added another goal late in the period.
"I don't look at history," Ovechkin said. "I enjoy my hockey
career here in Washington. ... I'm glad I score lots of goals, and
I'm glad some goals are winning goals."
Friesen, a candidate to be moved before Thursday's trade
deadline, had a goal and assist in his 802nd career game.
"Milestones are something that you kind of take with the
game," Friesen said. "I'm been fortunate enough to play 800
games. As an offensive guy, if you stick around that long, you're
going to put up some numbers."
As for Kolzig, he made 40 saves in win No. 250, tying him with
Johnny Bower for 35th place all-time.
"I'll probably play until I'm 40," the 35-year-old goaltender
said. "But, for now, just two (more) years and we'll see where it
goes after that."
Arron Asham and Joel Bouchard scored for the Islanders, who
missed a chance to move back to .500 for the first time since
December. The loss was especially disappointing because Washington
is the type of team New York needs to beat to keep from fading
completely from the playoff race.
"At this point in time, if you can't get ready, you've got
problems," defenseman Brent Sopel said. "This is playoff hockey.
We need the points every single night. It doesn't matter if the
building is empty. We're playing for ourselves, doesn't matter
where we are. We need the points and we have to be ready to go."
Islanders C Alexei Yashin was cut when took a skate in the
face from Washington's Ivan Majesky as both fell to the ice in the
second period. Yashin returned in the third period. ... Snow
started in goal in place of Rick DiPietro as the Islanders played
the first of back-to-back games. They are home against New Jersey
on Tuesday. ... Capitals D Jamie Heward, who suffered a head injury
when checked into the boards Saturday against Atlanta, did not
play. D Steve Eminger returned after missing 16 games with a
sprained ankle. ... Bouchard's goal was his first goal of season.
... Friesen also had an assist for his 500th career point. ... The
game was the first in a five-game homestand for the Capitals.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Verizon Center Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Referees: Mike Leggo, Michael McGeough Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Anthony Sericolo
Attendance: 11,021 (59.9% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Alex Ovechkin (40)
Assists: Dainius Zubrus, Ivan Majesky
Arron Asham (9)
Assists: Alexei Yashin, Joel Bouchard
Jeff Friesen (3)
Assists: Jakub Klepis, Dainius Zubrus
Alex Ovechkin (41)
Assists: Mike Green, Jeff Halpern
Joel Bouchard (1)
Assists: Mike York, Brad Lukowich
Bryan Muir (5)
(Power Play) Assists: Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Friesen