“That’s what the fans pay money to see,” forward Jason Chimera said. “Just a world-class goal by a world-class player. You don’t see that. A lot of guys would fall down if they tried that kind of stuff.”
Devils Coach John Hynes said the goal was the turning point in the game. Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said it’s what he’s come to expect from his star top-line left winger. Ovechkin had 53 goals and 28 assists last season. Less than seven minutes after his goal, he fed Marcus Johansson for a power-play goal.
“When he gets a guy one-on-one, there’s a good chance he’s going to create something out of it,” Trotz said. “I’ve only been here a short time. … They’re on SportsCenter every day or on the NHL Network. They show all his goals, and they’re pretty special.”
Ovechkin maneuvered the puck to the left of Moore before roofing it into the net. Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik, who played in Pittsburgh before Washington, could empathize with the 24-year-old.
“I remember playing against him, and then [the Capitals] had Alex Semin, who was similar,” Orpik said. “They have that unique ability where they can shoot the puck from behind their feet with no follow through, so you’ve got to respect that. Then if you overplay it, that’s what he can do to you, too.”