Ovechkin’s Stage Is Set in Front of Fedorov, But Caps Fall

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Posted November 10, 2015

Ovechkin and Holtby celebrate what was supposed to be the Russian goal-scoring record on Saturday, before it was called off. (Caps Outsider)

As the Capitals played the Red Wings for the first time this season, fans were reminded of their recent past. While the lack of Mike Green on the Capitals’ roster has always been quite noticeable, fans were given a new glimpse of the former Capital with his new team. With the anticipation of Alex Ovechkin‘s next goal breaking the NHL record for most goals by a Russian-born player, which he currently shares with Sergei Fedorov, everyone had their eyes on number eight.

Speaking of Fedorov, while he might be best known for his time – and Stanley cup wins – in Detroit as a Red Wing, Caps fans will remember Fedorov for his time in Washington. Part of the Russian superpower known as the Russian Five during his years in Detroit, Fedorov made his way to the Capitals for his final years in the NHL, and quickly became a surrogate father figure to the aptly named Young Guns, which included Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, and Alex Ovechkin, as well as former Capitals Mike Green and Alexander Semin. Along with fellow Russian, Viktor Kozlov, Fedorov made a significant contribution to the Capitals lineup during their short time with the team. Keeping in mind that Ovechkin’s second goal in the Maple Leafs game, which would have given him the title over Fedorov, was questionably called off, it seemed almost like fate wanted him to wait until the game against Detroit.

Fate, however, is never as predictable as you want it to be. The Capitals got a lucky break three minutes into the opening period, when a possible goal against was ruled inconclusive and not counted. Both the Red Wings and the Capitals seemed a little shaky to start off, possibly due to the excitement of having Fedorov in attendance for the puck drop, but things eventually settled down.

Green looked sharp early in the game, taking the opportunity to introduce his former teammates to the business end of his all too familiar physical presence. Despite Green being caught off guard by Ovechkin late in the second period, the game remained scoreless until 21 year old Andreas Athanasiou scored his first NHL goal, giving the Red Wings the 1-0 lead to win the game.

That’s not to say Ovechkin or the Capitals weren’t playing well, with several key chances throughout the game, they just couldn’t quite break goalie Petr Mrazek in time. While it will be hard to beat scoring a goal in front of your childhood hero to break that player’s record, it’s safe to say Ovechkin’s next goal will be a memorable one.