Washington captain left it all on the ice in 7-game series
Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin knocks out Carolina rookie Andrei Svechnikov as they fight during the first period in Game 3. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
There's lots of talk that Alex Ovechkin can break Wayne Gretzky's goal-scoring record, but he looked more like Gordie Howe in Washington's first-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Playing like a man possessed and proving he can do just about anything for his team when it counts the most, Ovi had four goals, five assists and even a very rare fight in the seven-game series.
- Wayne Gretzky says Alex Ovechkin 'absolutely' can break his goal record
In Wednesday night's eventual 4-3 Game 7 loss in double overtime, the Capitals captain helped pad an early lead for his team, dangling around Carolina defenceman Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin before dishing to Tom Wilson, who buried it to go up 2-0.
It was his fourth career assist in a Game 7, which tied him with Greg Adams for the most in franchise history.
Ovechkin is known for his goal-scoring prowess, which was on full display. Of his four goals throughout the series, he added a few highlight-reel candidates to his resume.
Alex Ovechkin fought, dangled, dished and sniped against the Hurricanes, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Capitals' double-OT Game 7 loss. 1:33
In his team's Game 4 loss, Ovechkin ripped a classic one-timer from "his office" and in Game 6 he dangled around another Carolina defenceman to get one past goalie Petr Mrazek.
In that same game, he let his emotion get the better of him, getting ejected for mock-applauding an official after a later goal was disallowed and he received a slashing penalty in the dying minutes of the game — preventing the chance for Washington to tie the game and potentially put away the series in six.
The only game in the series that Ovechkin was kept off the scoreboard was Game 3. He was too busy getting his first career playoff fight under his belt, delivering a vicious knockout punch to Hurricanes rookie Andrei Svechnikov.
While some stars wilt under the pressure of the playoffs, the Great Eight definitely wasn't resting on his laurels a year after capturing his first Stanley Cup.