Alex Ovechkin on barely playing in third: “It is what it is”

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While Braden Holtby blossomed into the star of the moment in the third period of a tight 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins, Alex Ovechkin sacrificed like a captain. At least, that’s the best way to spin it to keep the peace for the Washington Capitals, as CSNWashington’s Chuck Gormley explains why Dale Hunter only sent Ovi out for 1:58 of ice time in the game’s final 20 minutes.

Ovechkin assisted on Alex Semin’s second-period goal but his offensive zone giveaway led to Rich Peverley’s goal in the first period.

Hunter simply did not want to run the risk of Ovechkin committing another costly giveaway in the third period of a one-goal game. And Ovechkin was not the only player who sat the bench in the third. Alex Semin took just five shifts in the final period.

There’s been plenty made about Ovechkin getting planted on the bench in the past and – much like tonight – a Capitals’ win wouldn’t kill the questions altogether. To the captain’s credit, Ovi didn’t make anything more than a fuss then using the classic sad salesman’s phrase “it is what it is.”

“The third period we play safe,” Ovechkin said. “It is what it is. We take this win. It was very important mentally.”

The Capitals might have won it for Nicky, but Ovi took one for the team.