Like it's predecessor, "The Phoenix Goal", the first period goal Alex Ovechkin scored to tie the game at one in last night's 4-3 shooutout win over Montreal will forever be immortalized, known simply as "The Self-Pass".

Ovechkin outraced Canadiens' defenseman Roman Hamrlik to a loose puck just past the Montreal blue line. Ovie backhanded the puck off the wall, deftly spun around Hamrlik and collected the puck, charging toward Canadiens' netminder Carey Price.

Forward Kyle Chipchura hustled back to haul Ovechkin down to the ice, but in a stunning display of concentration, the Great Eight still had the presence to beat Price short-side as his slid through the crease on his rear end.

Thus is born another YouTube moment.

"Normal goal. It's not sick," he tried to say with a straight face after the game.

And what about that pass to himself?

"You have to try something new."

The win keeps Washington (37-16-5-79, first in Southeast) in second place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of New Jersey and nine points behind Boston. Montreal (30-21-7-67) slips to sixth in the conference, one point ahead of both Florida and Buffalo for the last spot in the East.

The Caps increased their Eastern Conference-best home record to 23-4-1, and are 7-1-2 overall in their last ten games.

But the game wasn't all Ovechkin. There was a matter of two points to be awarded, and the issue still wasn't settled after 65 minutes of often end-to-end hockey.

While no where near as pretty, David Steckel's tip in goal with 2:39 remaining was every bit as critical. Steckel won the offensive zone faceoff to Brooks Laich, who passed back to Tom Poti at the point. Poti slid to his right before unleashing the high shot, which Steckel redirected right in front of Price to knot the score.

It was the unheralded centerman's seventh goal of the season, and came at a time when the outcome was still very much in doubt.

Overtime saw both teams have excellent scoring chances, none more so than Montreal ringing a shot off the post past Jose Theodore. But Theo did make a quality stop on Christopher Higgins, who one-timed a feed after camping in the slot during the four-on-four overtime.

Price answered at the other end, getting a leg pad on Michael Nylander's attempt to stuff one past the All-Star goalie.

The shootout saw Alexander Semin and Niklas Backstrom beat Price with Washignton's first two shots, and Theodore blanking Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov. Backstrom (14) had a goal in regulation as well.

Photos (c) C. Nichols 2009. Video courtesy of Caps365 on

02:33 Power Play - Christopher Higgins (8), Snap Shot. Assist: Markov, D'Agostini
10:07 Alex Ovechkin (42), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
13:42 Power Play - Nicklas Backstrom (14), Snap Shot. Assist: Fedorov, Green
17:03 Power Play - Andrei Kostitsyn (21), Tip-In. Assist: Markov, Schneider


08:57 Power Play - Tomas Plekanec (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Markov, Kostitsyn
17:21 Dave Steckel (7), Slap Shot. Assist: Poti, Laich


Alexander Semin (2), GOAL
Nicklas Backstrom (1), GOAL

1. A. Markov - MON (Goals: 0, Assists: 3)
2. A. Ovechkin - WAS (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)
3. D. Steckel - WAS (Goals: 1, Assists: 0)

Montreal went three-for-four on the power play, Washington one-for-three. Mathieu Schneider, acquired from Atlanta on Monday for a pair of draft picks, had one assist for the Canadiens. The Capitals have won 12 in a row at home against Eastern Conference opponents. Ovechkin has a 10-game point streak (11 goals, five assists). Viktor Kozlov missed his sixth straight game with a groin injury.