Twice now Ovechkin has had his 484th goal to pass Sergei Fedorov disallowed by a coach’s challenge. Twice now the infraction has been committed by Williams.
“I think I’m up for the Selke,” Williams said of the award that goes to the league’s best defensive forward. “I’m shutting Ovi down pretty good right now. That’s two disallowed goals because of me.”
Williams is to Ovechkin’s record-setting quest what Kryptonite was to Superman. Against Toronto, Ovechkin thought he set the record when he punched in a rebound and seemingly tied the game late in the third period against the Maple Leafs. Coach Mike Babcock challenged and Williams was ruled to have interfered with the goaltender, wiping the goal off the board and Ovechkin from the record books.
“Obviously, it sucks,” Ovechkin said after.
That video review rankled the Capitals and it was subject to some debate on if it was the right call. The one on Thursday night was unquestionably correct, as Philadelphia Coach Dave Hakstol challenged that Ovechkin’s power-play goal from his sweet spot was offside, and Williams was clearly the offender again.
“It sucks again,” Ovechkin said with a laugh.
“I wanted him to get it at home anyway,” Williams said. “That was the reason.”
Ovechkin said his family, fiancee and her parents will be in attendance Friday when the Capitals host the Calgary Flames, so getting the record then could be special. He also added that Williams owes him dinner “and all kinds of stuff.”
“It’s probably fitting that he gets a chance to do it in front of his own fans,” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said. “They’ve supported him all along, and I think it’d be a nice thing for him to do it at home. I was saying, he’s on pace for about 76 goals, and Williams has nullified two of them already.
“He’s not rattled by it. He’s going to get it.”