Ryan Miller stops Alex Ovechkin (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks netminder and Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin engaged in an old-fashioned duel Thursday night. In the first frame, Miller robbed Ovechkin’s one-time blast, but Ovechkin fired seven pucks and Miller and finally cracked the netminder on a near-identical one-timer for the game-winning goal.
There’s nothing quite like a good duel between a shooter and a goaltender and that’s exactly what Washington Capitals superstar sniper Alex Ovechkin and Vancouver Canucks veteran netminder Ryan Miller engaged in Thursday night.
The battle between Miller and Ovechkin lasted the entirety of Thursday’s game, but it really kicked off in the first frame when Ovechkin and Washington defenseman Karl Alzner turned a Vancouver offensive-zone turnover into a 2-on-1 break the other way.
With Chris Tanev the lone man back for the Canucks, Alzner waited until the Vancouver defenseman committed to stopping the cross-ice feed and fired a perfect saucer pass to Ovechkin. In one motion, Ovechkin hammered the puck on net and Miller lunged to his right to stop the shot:
Nine times out of 10, that Ovechkin one-timer ends up in the back of the net. It’s Ovechkin’s bread and butter, and it’s why he’s one of the most lethal goal scorers to ever play the game. Notice the goal light behind the net when Miller makes the stop? It went on, because no one in the building thought Miller had a chance to stop Ovechkin’s blast.
Ovechkin would match a season-high by peppering Miller with seven shots over the course of the evening. And it was with his seventh shot that Ovechkin finally cracked Miller and found his little slice of revenge. The shot make look familiar:
That’s Ovechkin unloading on a one-timer from center Evgeny Kuznetsov from nearly the exact same spot on the ice. The only difference? The result. Ovechkin wasn’t missing this time and labelled his one-timer upstairs.
Ovechkin’s tally would be the last laugh for the Capitals as they held on for the 3-2 victory, and the ‘Great 8’ added a little flair to his game-winner with the “silence” celebration.