Alex Ovechkin provided the Washington Capitals with a memorable evening Tuesday, scoring four goals for the third time in his career and surpassing Peter Bondra as the franchise's all-time leader in power-play goals as he willed his team to a come-from-behind 6-5 shootout victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Meanwhile, Mike Green's evening was also memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.
In the first period, Green accrued a career-high 18 penalty minutes (shattering his previous high of seven) less than 12 minutes into the game and on only six shifts.
His first two penalties -- a double minor for high-sticking Valtteri Filppula and a minor for tripping Ondrej Palat -- led to Lightning power-play goals, and he was unsuccessful in thwarting a 2-on-1 between J.T. Brown and Nate Thompson that capped off Tampa Bay's first-period outburst.
Green then caught Tyler Johnson with another high stick, earning another two minutes plus an additional 10-minute misconduct to round out his record-setting period. His 18 penalty minutes were the most by a Capitals defenseman in a single game since Bryan Muir earned 19 in Dec. 2006.
"[I was a] little overaggressive and I've got to watch my stick," Green said tersely after practice on Wednesday. "It was frustrating, but it is what it is."
During his 10-minute banishment, Green settled himself down and "went out there and [worked] hard," but even as Ovechkin carried Washington back into the game, fans at Verizon Center did not forget about the position that Green had put the Capitals in.
Whenever the 28-year-old touched the puck upon his return, a noticeable segment of the crowd booed him. After earning the primary assist on Ovechkin's third goal that tied the game at 4-4 and set the franchise record, fans voiced their displeasure, jeering Green when he appeared on the scoreboard during the goal's announcement and even during a commemorative video honoring Ovechkin's achievement.
“It’s hard to play when you take that many penalties early," Coach Adam Oates said in his post-game press conference. "You don’t get a chance to get into the game, we didn’t even know how we were going to play. He bounced back the second half of the game, it’s a tough environment you get booed, people pay a lot of money and the start you had – he knows, he’s not happy about it. We’ll talk about what it is, preparation, etc. but he had a better second half of the game.”
Oates and Green spoke on Wednesday regarding the latter's performance, and while neither would divulge the details of the conversation, Oates did shed some light on what he addressed.
"As a coach, one of the things you try to watch is [if] the guy makes one mistake, two mistakes, three mistakes, does it lead to five, to 10, to 20?" Oates said. "Is there something in his game that we're trying to watch for? We talked a little bit about that, little things that don't put extra pressure on yourself or being in the wrong spot."
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