PHT Morning Skate: Ovechkin, Nash gun for the Richard Trophy

8 Comments

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

For years, it’s felt like the Maurice Richard Trophy might as well have been called the Alex Ovechkin Award. Rick Nash is really having an amazing goal-scoring year in 2014-15, however, setting up quite the thrilling race between two of the NHL’s best snipers.

What’s especially cool is that the Capitals and Rangers play on April 11, setting up a potential final showdown. So who gets it? (The Hockey News)

The Avalanche are trying to find the right balance between winning and building. (The Denver Post)

Mike Richards seems to be making lemonade out of AHL lemons so far. (Los Angeles Times)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $50,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

TSN notes that Steve Montador was a plaintiff in a concussion case against the NHL. (TSN)

A tweet can change someone’s life. Just ask Corey Hirsch. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

Getzlaf on Ovechkin: ‘I didn’t know he was going to dive the way he did tonight’

32 Comments

Alexander Ovechkin and Andre Burakovsky each scored twice Sunday night as the Washington Capitals defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-3.

Marcus Johansson’s 14th of the season at 3:27 of the second period stood to be the game winner.

Ovechkin, who also assisted on Burakovsky’s two goals, now has a league-leading 36 on the season passing Rangers’ forward Rick Nash.

Not everyone was impressed with Ovechkin’s four-point night.

Ovechkin and Ryan Getzlaf had a run-in on the ice during the first period. Post-game Getzlaf had some choice words for the Washington captain.

“I didn’t know he was going to dive the way he did tonight,” said Getzlaf per the L.A. Times’ Helene Elliott. “All over the [expletive] ice. That part of it is a little embarrassing. Pardon my language. He’s a great player.

“He’s going to score goals and make plays. That other stuff’s embarrassing.”

Andrew Cogliano scored both goals for the Ducks. It was his first multi-goal game since Mar. 2, 2013.

Defenseman Hampus Lindholm had two assists in the loss.

Francois Beauchemin appeared in his 500th game with the Ducks Sunday night. He joins Ruslan Salei (594) as the only other Ducks defenseman to reach the milestone.

Justin Peters made 30 saves for the win while John Gibson stopped 23 shots in the loss.

Anaheim lost defenseman Sami Vatanen (lower body) and forward Matt Beleskey (upper body) in the first period. Neither player returned to the game and Bruce Boudreau had no update on either player post-game.

Video: Ducks’ Beleskey and Vatanen injured vs. Capitals

The Anaheim Ducks lost defenseman Sami Vatanen and forward Matt Beleskey to injuries during the first period of tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals.

Beleskey is out with an upper body injury after taking a hit from Caps’ defenseman John Carlson midway through the first period.

Vatanen suffered a lower body injury late in the first.

Neither player is expected to return to the lineup tonight.

Patrick Maroon left the game early in the second period after being checked by Caps defenseman Mike Green and forward Michael Latta on the same shift, but he later returned.

Video: Ovechkin takes over the goal-scoring lead

7 Comments

Washington Capitals’ captain Alexander Ovechkin scored twice in the first period tonight in Anaheim to reclaim the NHL’s goal-scoring lead.

Ovechkin’s first of the night, and 35th of the season, tied the game 1-1.

Then with the Caps trailing 2-1, Ovechkin netted his 36th of the season, on a power play midway through the first period.

With the two goals Ovechkin passes New York Rangers’ forward Rick Nash, who entered tonight’s action as the goal-scoring leader with 35.

Ovechkin does not have a hat trick this season. His last three-goal night came on Dec. 10, 2013 when he scored four against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Goalie nods: Flyers lean on Emery, Neuvirth gets a shot

News and notes from around the crease …

No shame about Ray

The Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t have felt great about their slim playoff hopes when Steve Mason went down with his knee injury. For better or worse, it’s on Ray Emery, and Sunday is the kind of game he has to win.

Since taking over for Mason in February, Emery’s gone 1-0-2. The 30-year-old’s overall numbers aren’t much to brag about (9-9-3 with a .890 save percentage), but this stretch will probably make a big impact on how the league views the pugnacious puck-stopper going forward.

On the Buffalo side, Michal Neuvirth gets a chance to stretch his legs in the Sabres’ net with Jhonas Enroth shipped off to Dallas.

The situations are quite different, yet both netminders have plenty to prove today.

Elsewhere …

Blues at Panthers: Brian Elliott vs. Roberto Luongo

Lightning at Sharks: Expected starters are Ben Bishop against Antti Niemi

Capitals at Ducks: Expected starters are Justin Peters vs. John Gibson