Goal of the night: Alex Ovechkin’s falling effort helps beat Florida

Aside from the occasional night off – or the even less common instance when a save or goal isn’t deemed worthy – the gang at PHT will decide which tally or stop is the best of any given night. Once those two winners are determined, we’ll share our reasoning (and most importantly, the video clip for each) in posts for your viewing pleasure.

We’ve gotten used to seeing amazing efforts out of Alex Ovechkin over the years. Whether he’s beating the Coyotes from his stomach without looking or beating the Habs from his backside with a pool cue shot, we’ve seen some pretty incredible things over his career. While his goal tonight against the Panthers on Scott Clemmensen might not rank out as an all-time great goal, it’s pretty remarkable just the same.

With the Caps holding a 2-1 lead at the time, Ovechkin sailed up the left wing side into the Panthers zone. With the defense collapsing in on him, Ovechkin drove to the net and got a shot away while getting his feet taken out and Clemmensen was helpless to stop the Ovi onslaught. Ovechkin’s goal put the Caps ahead 3-1 and his goal was the difference maker as the Caps went on to win 3-2 over Florida. Ovi’s goal is worth a second and third look to see what grace under pressure looks like.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.