What scoring the Washington Capitals lost while spilling talent over the summer months, Alex Ovechkin appears determined to return by himself.
In Thursday’s opener, the greatest goal scorer of a generation rescheduled those persistent rumours of his demise, continuing the run on opening-night hat tricks with a trio versus the Ottawa Senators. And if anything, he surpassed the three-goal performances of Connor McDavid and Wayne Simmonds in their respective debuts by adding a fourth finish in the shootout to help secure two points for Washington.
Ovechkin’s three goals were scored inside seven minutes in the third period – and each from a high-danger position inside the Senators’ zone with Evgeny Kuznetsov claiming a primary assist. And while he certainly has his new centre to thank for the first two, the third goal was all Ovechkin – and a reminder of the power he still possesses when attacking the puck in the offensive zone.
Watch him muscle through the feeble stick check of Nate Thompson to put himself in position to whip the puck past Craig Anderson.
It was Ovechkin’s 18th career hat trick, and his first on an opening night – which is quite obviously a product of Washington’s captain finally showing up at training camp in decent enough shape.
About time, Alex.