The Washington Capitals won for the twelvth consecutive game, defeating the New York Rangers 6-5 at storied Madison Square Garden.

Those words, however, don't do the game, or this team, justice.

Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and had an assist, and Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and four assists, leading the team's offensive output.

With three points, Ovechkin reached 500 points for his illustrious career.  It took the 'Great Eight' only 373 games to reach that lofty record.

Jose Theodore had as good a game as anyone that gave up four goals, making 33 saves.  None were more critical that with just under 12 seconds, as a shot came in from the slot and bounced up in front of his eyes. 

Theodore made a quick swipe with his catching glove and covered up, wresting away the Rangers last, best shot at tying a game they led on several occasions, once by two goals.

New York scored four power play goals en route to their biggest offensive output in weeks.  The Caps responded in kind with two power play goals of their own in the third period.

Tom Poti sent a wrist shot toward Henrik Lundqvist less than a minute into the third that seemed to confuse the stellar goalie.  It might have been tipped or been deflected, but Poti gets credit for the goal.

Less than five minutes later, Nicklas Backstrom fired a shot from the high slot that beat Lundqvist cleanly. 

The goal capped a tremendous effort from the entire team after spending a good chunk of the game defending -- poorly -- on the penalty kill. 

The second period was a bizzare, back-and-forth, pond hockey type of affair.  Washington took four penalties in the second, New York three, where the two teams exchanged six goals.

But the frame ended with the captain, Alex Ovechkin, making a bull rush toward the Ranger net.  He put the puck between the defenseman's legs, and -- one handed -- flipped the puck over and past a sprawled Henrik Lundqvist to draw the team within one.

The goal, with seven seconds remaining in the second, broke the Rangers momentum and steered it back in Washington's direction.

In what is now becoming habit, the Caps then steamrolled in the third, as the Rangers themselves couldn't stay out of the box, taking five penalties against the league's No. 1 power play.

So the win streak runs to 12 games, and the Capitals race the impending snowstorm home to face the Atlanta Thrashers Friday night.  The Thrashers will be a shell of their former selves, as they dealt their leading scorer, Ilya Kovalchuk, to the New Jersey Devils today.

Should the Caps get lucky 13 on Friday, it'll set up a marquee matchup on Sunday -- weather permitting -- on national television with arch-enemy Pittsburgh.

It's all any Caps fan could ask for.

2 comments

  1. andre drummond // February 5, 2010 at 3:07 PM  

    Alex continues to amaze me. His combination of power, speed, and skill reminds me of the promise Eric Lindros had in his early days. If he can stay healthy, he could challenge Gretzky's career goals record.

  2. Dave Nichols // February 5, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

    Andre, i think Ovie would trade any record to bring home a Cup! not that records aren't nice too! thanks for the comment.