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Morning Skate: The only thing hotter than Alex Ovechkin right now is the sun

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On Wednesday, Ovechkin hit the eight-goal mark after just four games.

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Lace ’em up. Time for the Morning Skate.

Alex Ovechkin is as hot as they come. No, we don’t mean his physical features. We’re talking about his lightning-fast start to the 2017-18 season, and how there seems to be no stopping his trajectory.

Despite a 3-2 Washington Capitals loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ovechkin tallied yet another goal for his team. Days after scoring consecutive hat tricks in just under 13 minutes of ice time, Ovechkin is now up to eight goals on the season thanks to his garbage time goal against the Penguins on Wednesday.

Since the start of the season, Ovechkin has been playing like a man on a mission. Maybe it’s having to give up on his Olympic dream that’s sparked a fire under him, but Ovechkin has been a goal machine for the Capitals. And for the other 30 NHL teams, that’s scary. An Ovechkin on a roll is a near unstoppable force.

This pace for Ovechkin is absolutely unsustainable, as he’s shooting at an even 32 percent on the season, but it’s the best start he’s had in years. Last season, it took until mid-November for Ovechkin to reach eight goals and many questioned his ability to be this dominant atop the NHL’s scoring leaders. The last time Ovechkin had this fast of a start was in 2013-14 where he ended October with 10 goals and finished out the season with 51.

At any rate, it doesn’t look like Ovechkin has plans on slowing down either. He led the Capitals by a long shot with seven shots and a Corsi-For percentage of 62 in the loss against the Penguins. The effort wasn’t enough to derail the reigning Stanley Cup champions, but Ovechkin has been vital to the Capitals early season success so far.

One sentence recaps

  • Penguins 3, Capitals 2: Pittsburgh’s power play did the heavy lifting in a tame Wednesday Night Rivalry matchup.
  • Devils 6, Maple Leafs 3: Miles Wood and Pavel Zacha’s two goals kept New Jersey unbeaten as they snuffed out Toronto.
  • Avalanche 6, Bruins 3: Colorado piled on in the second period and never looked back to win their third of the year.
  • Ducks 3, Islanders 2: John Gibson stood tall with 39 saves as Anaheim outlasted the Islanders.
  • Flames 4, Kings 3 (OT): Jaromir Jagr couldn’t stop Calgary from blowing a two-goal lead, but they won anyway.

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  • The Penguins and the NHL were radio silent about their White House visit on social media on Tuesday.
  • Carolina owes Hurricanes fans an honest effort to increase attendance.
  • Get to know Golden Knights’ prospect Tobias Lindberg.
  • Are the Colorado Avalanche using ideal line combinations?
  • Here are the advanced stats takeaways from the first three games for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
  • How J.T Brown’s protest revealed the worst of hockey’s racist and political bias.

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