Lost in the hoopla of Kris Letang’s hit on Marcus Johansson during the Penguins’ 3-2 Game Three win over the Capitals, was the fact that Alex Ovechkin passed up shots to tie the game not once but twice in the final seconds.
Maybe if this was the NBA it’d be a bigger deal since that’s the time when stars are expected to shine, while hockey tends to pride itself in suffocating them during crunch time. But sometimes a superstar, when given the chance, needs to step up and be the man for the good of the team.
Ovechkin lived up to his role for most of a third period in which two of his blistering shots turned the Pens’ three-goal lead into a nail-biting one-goal edge. With a chance to deliver a signature playoff moment for the Caps off two clean offensive zone draws, I couldn’t believe my eyes when he twice passed up the potential game-tying shots from a spot he’s scored countless goals during his career. Maybe the cross-ice one-timers were designed calls. The end result serves as a reminder that sometimes the obvious play is the right one. The Great Eight has to shoot there.