Both Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals are in the midst of hot streaks right now. As a team, the Capitals have won eight of 10 and have claimed sole possession of the Southeast Division with nine games left.
A lot of that has to do with Ovechkin, who has scored 16 goals in his last 14 games and is now tied with the Lightning's Steven Stamkos -- who the Capitals beat 4-2 Sunday -- for the league lead with 25.
Ovechkin scored goal No. 25 on an empty-netter with 4.4 seconds left, but if it were up to Tampa Bay's Alex Killorn, that wouldn't have been the case.
As you may have noticed, Killorn was on the bench when he decided to, well, stick his stick out. Yet even if Ovechkin would have missed (which he has apparently done six times with the empty net this season as CSN's Craig Laughlin noted on the broadcast), the goal would have counted because of the interference, according to Rule 56.7:
If, when the goalkeeper has been removed from the ice, any member of his team (including the goalkeeper) not legally on the ice, including the Coach or non-playing Club personnel, interferes by means of his body, stick or any other object or piece of equipment with the movements of the puck or an opposing player in the neutral or attacking zone, the Referee shall immediately award a goal to the non-offending team.
Either way, it was the Capitals' first empty-net goal of the season -- they were the last team in the NHL to score one -- so they'll take them any way they come.
“I think [Ovechkin’s] been missing five of them, at least, before,” forward Nicklas Backstrom said jokingly. “So it was good for him to find that empty-netter.”
“Too many wasted opportunities from our team,” Ovechkin added. "Don’t want to risk it.”
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