Alex Ovechkin always does well in Canada, does well when the Washington Capitals are on Hockey Night In Canada, and does well against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It seems that tonight's game was the perfect storm for Ovechkin, because he netted his first hat trick of the season.
Ovechkin scored his first goal in the first period, and added his second just 1:12 into the third period. It wasn't one of his prettiest goals, but it counted just the same. Ovechkin hopped on a rebound from a Mike Green shot that was saved by Jean-Sebastien Giguere and put the puck into the net.
Less than two minutes later, Maple Leafs center Tim Brent redirected a shot from Jay Rosehill to cut the Washington lead to one goal again. That didn't last long though, as Matt Hendricks converted a breakaway opportunity by deking Giguere and putting the puck away. Ovechkin would also add an empty net goal to add a third talley to his stat sheet, and end the game with a score of 4-1.
Ovechkin was not the first star of the night though. That honor would be handed to Braden Holtby. Holtby has now stopped 59 of the 61 shots he's faced in the past two games, including some very impressive saves tonight.
Could this be the type of performance that vaults Holtby into the discussion as a possible regular starting goalkeeper? Bruce Boudreau has had the tendency to continue with whichever goaltender is hot, so Holtby may be staking a claim on the starting job, at least for Monday night's meeting with the New York Rangers at the Verizon Center.