Washington Capitals 4-2 Boston Bruins
The end of the regular season in the NHL is approaching – teams have about ten games left to play to finally determine the eight qualifiers for this year’s Stanley Cup.
On the edge of the Eastern Conference playoff zone is Alexander Ovechkin’s Washington, which hosted Boston on ice last night. Both teams had an uneventful title and collected enough points to comfortably prepare for the most important games of the season.
Prior to this meeting, Caps had two wins over Tampa and Pittsburgh, rehabilitated for two losses in games played with the Carolinas and New Jersey with a combined score of 2:11. The “Bears” have won four of their last five games and approached the fight with “Washington” as favorites.
However, the home team found the first goal of the match. In the fifth minute of the second quarter, Conor Shiri rolled the puck into John Carlson’s empty space – the American entered the right rim and clicked strong 1:0 into the close corner.
The guests formed the answer four minutes later: Nick Foligno pulled out of the door, pulling Vitek Vanechek to himself, and moved on to 1:1 where Curtis Lazar was most active.
A minute later, Boston took the full lead – Charlie McAvoy won the midfield puck challenge from TJ Oshi and passed it to Eric Howlu. Finn threw it into the far corner precisely because he was all alone – 1:2.
However, the Bears briefly held the lead. Five minutes before the end of the second twenty-minute period, left wing Anthony Manta passed a one-touch pass to Lars Eller. The puck caught in the feet of the defenders who didn’t have time for Tom Wilson, who managed to push into the goal – 2:2!
In the third period, only the Washingtonians scored. First, Eller made an arc behind the goal and threw through a hoop – the puck hit the defender’s stick, then Linus jumped behind Ulmark.
And Alexander Ovechkin ended the game by hitting an empty net with the transfer of Evgeny Kuznetsov.
The 36-year-old striker scored his 45th goal this season in the last game, bringing the total NHL goals to 775. Thus, Ovechkin narrowed the gap to the legendary Gordie Howe to 26 goals in the list of the best goalscorers in NHL history.
The captain of the Capitals today has caught up with legendary Canadian Wayne Gretzky with 100+ goals in the NHL in past months. Both hockey players scored more than 100 goals in seven months. The 36-year-old Russian player’s goal against the Bruins was his 100th goal of the regular season to score in April.
He also became the tenth hockey player in NHL history to score more than 300 goals in 30 years.
Gordie Howe (415) is the top scorer after 30, followed by Phil Esposito (391), Johnny Bucik (374), Teemu Selanne (338), Jean Ratel (337), Brett Hull (328), Mark Messier (309), followed by Jaromir. Jagr (309), Jerome Iginla (301).
Additionally, the Caps captain is a clear second in NHL history in single-season goals scored among players aged 36 and over, beating Gordie Howe, who scored 44 goals in the 1968-69 season. Then he was 40 years old.
The leader in this indicator is Finn Teemu Selanne, who at the age of 36 scored 48 goals in the 2006/07 season.
The puck into the empty net was Ovechkin’s ninth goal of the season. The striker repeated the success of another Russian – Pavel Bure, who in the 1999/2000 season managed to send the puck into an empty net nine times as a Florida Panthers hockey player.
99% in Washington playoffs
And if the intrigue of the first 8 fights is still alive in the West, then in the East it is already possible to name the names of those who will take part in the 2022 playoffs. Purely in theory, the New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets could replace Washington from the last vacancy, but this would require the capital team to lose all of their remaining ten games in regular time, while their opponents would have to close the 15-point gap. and 16 points from 11 and nine games respectively.
In the next game, the Capitals will face the Philadelphia Flyers. The match will be played on April 13 at 2:00 Moscow time in the US capital.
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