for this game

Ovechkin scores twice, Capitals rally past Blackhawks

Oct 12, 2008 - 4:25 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The reigning Hart Trophy winner picked up right where he left off last season.

Alex Ovechkin scored two goals to lead the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks before a sellout crowd of 18,277 at the Verizon Center on Saturday night.

Brooks Laich netted what proved to be the game-winner with 4:27 remaining in the third period for the Capitals, who improved to 18-14-2 in home openers.

With the contest even at 2-2, Alexander Semin skated toward the net from the left side and fired a shot that was denied by a sprawling Nikolai Khabibulin. Laich grabbed to the loose puck in the crease and lifted a backhander that just crossed the goal line before the goaltender was able to glove it.

Following a video review, the on-ice officials reversed their initial call, awarding the goal to Laich.

"I couldn't tell if it crossed the line," Khabibulin said. "Obviously, they replayed it and called it good. It is what it is. They had a better view, I guess."

"It was kind of a broken play, the puck's squirting everywhere," Chicago defenseman Brian Campbell added. "What you see is what you get."

Blackhawks coach Denis Savard had no idea which way the call would go.

"There was no signal on the ice, and you're supposed to have a signal," Savard said. "I guess in Toronto, they said it was conclusive. I didn't see it, I couldn't tell. To me, I looked on the screen, on the ice, and I couldn't even tell. I'm sure they've got better angles."

Ovechkin added an insurance tally with 96 seconds remaining as the Capitals posted their seventh consecutive regular-season home victory dating back to last season.

"We know we can come back," said Ovechkin, who has scored a goal in each of the four home openers of his career. "It doesn't matter what the score is. It shows our heart and (that) we never give up. There is a great atmosphere in the locker room. Everyone believes in each other. This is the result."

Ovechkin's two-goal performance was his third in a home opener and the 32nd multi-goal effort of his career. The Capitals are 24-8-0 in those games, including wins in 14 of the last 15.

"He's a great player, and you look him and how he plays - he wins his battles," Savard said. "That's why he's a star player. (If) you want to be a star player, you do it every night, not just once in a while. That's why he's great."

Washington raised its record to 8-1-1 in home openers since moving into the Verizon Center in 1998.

The Capitals hoisted their 2007-08 Southeast Division championship banner to the rafters in a pregame ceremony presided by coach Bruce Boudreau, captain Chris Clark and alternate captains Sergei Fedorov and Ovechkin. But just 26 seconds after the opening faceoff, the Blackhawks grabbed the lead.

Kris Versteeg carried down the right wing and blasted a shot that found its way between the pads of goaltender Jose Theodore.

"I know there are 59 more minutes left, and if you don't allow any more goals, then it doesn't matter how bad the goal is," Theodore said.

Playing in just his 19th NHL game, Jack Skille doubled the advantage at 11:41, burying his own rebound from the right circle.

Matt Bradley converted a pass from David Steckel less than two minutes later to pull Washington within 2-1. Ovechkin had a chance to even the contest with 51 seconds remaining in the period, but Khabibulin denied his breakaway chance.

Ovechkin did knot the game at 5:07 of the middle session, beating Khabibulin from the top of the right faceoff circle for his first goal of the season.

"We are a resilient group, and everybody battled back and picked up the slack," Boudreau said. "We knew Theo was pretty nervous early. He came back and played great the last two periods."

Khabibulin finished with 30 saves, while Theodore made 19 saves.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 2 0 0 2
    WASHINGTON 1 1 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - KRIS VERSTEEG 1 (JONATHAN TOEWS, MARTIN HAVLAT) 0:26
    CHI - JACK SKILLE 1 (DAVE BOLLAND, ANDREW LADD) 11:41
    WAS - MATT BRADLEY 1 (DAVID STECKEL, DONALD BRASHEAR) 13:26
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 1 (TOM POTI) 5:

    Oct 11 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    WASHINGTON 4
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 2 (JEFF SCHULTZ, JOSE THEODORE) 18:24

    Blackhawks 2, Capitals 4  3rd - 1:36Oct 11 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    WASHINGTON 3
    3RD PRD: WAS - BROOKS LAICH 1 (ALEXANDER SEMIN) 15:33

    Blackhawks 2, Capitals 3  3rd - 4:27Oct 11 9:31 PM
  • 14
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 60 roots (Close Finish)

    Blackhawks 2, Capitals 3  3rd - 4:27Oct 11 9:31 PM
  • 74
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Blackhawks 2, Capitals 2  3rd - 5:35Oct 11 9:23 PM
  • 69
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 69 roots (Close Finish)

    Blackhawks 2, Capitals 2  3rd - 5:35Oct 11 9:22 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 2 0 2
    WASHINGTON 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - KRIS VERSTEEG 1 (JONATHAN TOEWS, MARTIN HAVLAT) 0:26
    CHI - JACK SKILLE 1 (DAVE BOLLAND, ANDREW LADD) 11:41
    WAS - MATT BRADLEY 1 (DAVID STECKEL, DONALD BRASHEAR) 13:26
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 1

    Oct 11 8:40 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    WASHINGTON 2
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 1 (UNASSISTED) 5:07

    Blackhawks 2, Capitals 2  2nd - 14:53Oct 11 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 2 2
    WASHINGTON 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - KRIS VERSTEEG 1 (JONATHAN TOEWS, DUNCAN KEITH) 0:26
    CHI - JACK SKILLE 1 (DAVE BOLLAND, ANDREW LADD) 11:41
    WAS - MATT BRADLEY 1 (DAVID STECKEL, DONALD BRASHEAR) 13:26
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Oct 11 7:51 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - MATT BRADLEY 1 (DAVID STECKEL, DONALD BRASHEAR) 13:26

    Blackhawks 2, Capitals 1  1st - 6:34Oct 11 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 2
    WASHINGTON 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - JACK SKILLE 1 (DAVE BOLLAND, ANDREW LADD) 11:41

    Blackhawks 2, Capitals 0  1st - 8:19Oct 11 7:38 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    WASHINGTON 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - KRIS VERSTEEG 1 (JONATHAN TOEWS, DUNCAN KEITH) 0:26

    Blackhawks 1, Capitals 0  1st - 19:34Oct 11 7:19 PM