Ovechkin pots hat trick as revenge for early-game high stick: 'I just punish them'

Mike StephensNHL analyst
Yahoo Sports Canada
Don't make The Great 8 angry. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
Don't make The Great 8 angry. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Do not make Alexander Ovechkin angry. That should be lesson one of NHL orientation.

Alas, the New Jersey Devils appeared to have skipped that class. Early in the first period of their meeting with the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, Devils forward Miles Wood managed to catch Ovechkin in the mouth with a high stick that left the superstar winger bloodied. The infraction occurred behind the play, somehow going entirely unnoticed by the referee who was staring, quite literally, right at it.

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Cue: Ovechkin’s rage.

From there, the Great Eight went on a bonafide scoring rampage, pummelling the Devils for three goals against — the first being his signature power-play one-timer — to lead the Capitals to a dominating 5-2 victory. After the game, Ovechkin reflected on how the uncalled high stick fuelled his outburst.

“Yeah, I was a little mad,” the Capitals captain explained.

“And I just punish them.”

It doesn’t get more iconic than that. The final goal of Ovechkin’s hat trick, which stands as the 689th of his career, inched him closer to a significant milestone as well.

Ovechkin is now sitting just a single marker behind Mario Lemieux for 10th on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list. Not only did Ovechkin get his revenge, but he managed to take another step towards history, too.

All in a day’s work for arguably the greatest goal scorer of a generation.

Ovechkin now has 31 goals and 47 points in 48 games this season.

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