Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal in eight games last night in a highly-charged contest against the conference rival Carolina Hurricanes. The captain also netted a nice assist on David Steckel's second period goal.
Maybe they embibed in a bit too much holiday cheer, but both teams slogged through the first period with some sloppy play. But it was the Capitals who lit the lamp first, courtesy of the team's signature sparkplug, Mathieu Perreault. Matty P. certainly seems to have an innate sense for scoring opportunities and took advantage of a rebound to beat Cam Ward. Five minutes after celebrating his tally, Perreault was lying prone on the ice bleeding profusely from the nose after taking a brutal hit from Canes defenseman Tim Gleason. At some point during the collision, Perreault's visor apparently broke resulting in the cuts. Caps fans watched in dismay as one of the team's fan favorites was escorted off the ice. Also quickly becoming a fan fave, Matt Hendricks did not hesitate to come to Perreault's defense and retaliated against Gleason. The hit will be the topic of much conversation today as hockey fans and pundits speculate as to where there will be additional supplemental discipline doled out against Gleason. Puck Daddy believes the hit was clean and also disagrees with the lack of an instigator penalty for Hendricks. John Carlson also tweeted the "after" photo of MP85 - glad to see the spunky lad smiling after suffering a broken nose (stick tap to Alex Ovetjkin - love the Lil Ovi reference).
The boys come home to face the Canadiens tomorrow at Verizon and we all know what big event awaits them in a few days. HM got a text this morning from her father-in-law in Pittsburgh (we jokingly call him "Accuweather Storm Tracker" due to his fascination with tracking snow events), providing me with the latest New Year's Day forecast for the 2011 Winter Classic. Uh oh, this is not looking cool....time to start doing the snow dance now sports fans!