PHILADELPHIA — Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. After two games of physical play from Alexander Ovechkin, No. 8 returned to his sharpshooting ways in Game 3, scoring the game winner and setting more records.
His first goal–the 38th postseason goal of his career–snapped a 1-1 tie and turned out to be the difference-maker in the game. It also combined with his 34 career assists to match Dale Hunter’s franchise career playoff points record (72).
Ovi celebrated while being mobbed by teammates, yelling, “yeah, baby!”
His second goal came from the opposite side of the net in the third period. After firing a one-timer from John Carlson that was blocked by a defender, Ovi corralled the puck and lined up a scorching shot that nestled in the net for the team’s fifth goal of the night:
This has been a stellar series for the Russian, who has also shown off his physicality against an aggressive Flyers team. He took out Flyers center Sean Couturier with a clean hit in Game 1:
In Game 2, he up-ended Brayden Schenn, sending him sprawling into the Flyers’ bench:
“Sometimes you just have to play physical,” Ovechkin said. “If you don’t have an opportunity to do something else, you play physical. You play simple and the other guys are going to follow you.”
Coach Barry Trotz knows that as Ovi goes, the Caps go too.
“We’re a little bit different, but we can still be heavy,” he said before the playoffs started. “When Ovi plays heavy, we’re a heavy team. Here’s your star player who can do things that other guys can’t. In the playoffs, Ovi’s going to have to be heavy to be effective.”
Game 4 will take place on Wednesday at 7 p.m.