Two stars shine bright on offensive end

Two stars shine bright on offensive end
March 8, 2013, 12:30 am
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Alex Ovechkin scores one for Chimera

On a night where goals were as plentiful as smiles in the Capitals post-game locker room, Alex Ovechkin was feeling generous.

“Ribs!” he shouted from the doorway, wearing only a towel and some ink. “You can keep that puck. One more!”

Mike Ribeiro chuckled. At the request of his teammate, he’d retrieved the puck from Ovechkin’s second-period goal, thinking that it was the Russian winger’s 700th career point. Turns out, Ovi is stuck on 699.

That’s just about the only point shortage the Capitals faced Thursday night against Florida, racing out to a 4-0 lead in the first period en route to a 7-1 pasting of the Panthers.

Ovechkin and Ribeiro lead the charge, each filling the stat sheet with a goal and two assists. Each had an assist on the other’s goal Thursday night.

Ribeiro, who leads the team in scoring with nine goals and 19 assists, has been a revelation this season after arriving in the offseason from Dallas.

“Offensively, obviously we clicked right away from the start,” he said, “but I’m trying not to think too much about my points.”

Nowhere is that offensive cohesion more obvious than on the power play, one area where Washington has been among the league leaders.

With a man advantage at 10:43 left in the second period and already up a commanding 4-0, Ribeiro took a pass from John Carlson down on the right side of the goal line and fed Troy Brouwer in the crease in one impressive, fluid motion. Brouwer just as immediately relayed the puck to Ovechkin, who buried it in the top corner for that not-quite-historic goal.

When asked what his team can take away from the offensive clinic they ran tonight, head coach Adam Oates said “We’ve gotta throw [this] tape away. The league’s not that easy.”

Maybe not. But after Tuesday’s impressive comeback and tonight’s romp, these Capitals are finding victories easier and easier to come by – thanks, in no small part, to a pair of linemates with quick wrists and (at least for tonight) big smiles.