Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin nabs another OT win for Capitals

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The common complaint is to say that Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals aren’t “clutch.” Perhaps the next wave of criticism might amount to a complete 180: maybe Ovechkin is now only clutch.*

Three of Ovechkin’s relatively low 27 goals have been game-winners this season and he’s had a particular flair for the dramatic lately. Ovechkin scored an overtime-game winner against the New York Islanders on Feb. 28 and did the same tonight with a 3-2 OT tally to drop the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the three games sandwiched in between, he hasn’t managed a single point.

Either way, Washington is very happy at the moment. The team is currently sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 72 points, enjoying a tie-breaker advantage over division rivals Winnipeg (who has the same amount of points and games played).

The Jets are just moments away from playing a tough game against the Canucks in Vancouver, so the Capitals won’t need to wait long to find out if they’ll – briefly – stand alone as the East’s current final seed.

Sure it wasn’t the prettiest contest – Mike Green might sit out a game or more for a questionable check – but ultimately the Capitals passed the first of a series of tests that will truly challenge their team during the next two weeks.

* – Personally, I tend to cringe at much of the talk of “clutchness,” at least in a sport that lacks control as much as hockey usually does.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)