Alex Ovechkin sinks Islanders with his second straight hat trick

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin infiltrated the top 10 of the NHL’s all-time scoring list Saturday at the expense of the Islanders.

The 6-4 loss to the Capitals at the Coliseum was the second harrowing defeat in as many games for the Islanders. And it was Ovechkin who anchored Washington’s come-from-behind victory, recording a hat trick for the second consecutive game and pulling even with Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman as the No. 9 all-time scorer.

“You look where the game was when Alex and [Sidney Crosby] were brought into the forefront and then you look at his career,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said prior to the game. “He was a player coming over from Russia who’s naturally very stoic, if you will, and having all this emotion, sort of an energy that you hadn’t seen coming from Russia.

“He sort of set the standard for a lot of young kids and inspiring kids. You see kids with the yellow laces, kids with the lace hanging from his pants, the mannerisms that he sometimes has and the celebrations. And it sort of carried to that next generation.”

The veteran winger opened up the scoring by capitalizing on a partial breakaway at 10:22 of the first. The Islanders then poured on four straight goals between the first two periods for a hefty lead to start the third. After former Ranger Carl Hagelin (with the Capitals since a trade from the Kings in February 2019) scored, Ovechkin roofed the puck over goalie Semyon Varlamov at 5:18 of the third. Following Jakub Vrana’s go-ahead goal, Ovechkin sealed the win with an empty netter for his 26th career hat trick.

“You see how he shoots the puck and the angles that he is able to place it in the spots where he gets the pass from either [John] Carlson or [Nicklas] Backstrom a lot of times or [Evgeny] Kuznetsov,” Trotz said. “He finds a way to get it into the net or into a spot and if he has total time, you don’t see the shot for the most part, you hope it just hits you as a goaltender.”

Trotz, who served as head coach in Washington for three seasons, pointed to Ovechkin’s durability and strength. The second-year Isles coach even compared his former player to Islanders legend Mike Bossy, saying that Ovechkin has a physicality to his game Bossy didn’t.

“To me, [Ovechkin is] the greatest goal scorer at a time where goals are not easy to come by,” Trotz said.


The Islanders recorded a power play goal after failing to convert on the man-advantage their last 25 opportunities.

“It’s nice to get one to go,” Anders Lee said. “It was a good play by [Jordan Eberle]. We moved the puck around really well, we got pucks to the net, couple of good entries to set up and it was a good look by him. I know Brock [Nelson] was open on the backside, and we got a good bounce, but sometimes it doesn’t matter how.”


In the Islanders’ past seven meetings with the Capitals, the visiting team has emerged victorious.

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