Alex Ovechkin couldn’t make it across the border to join the Washington Capitals for their Thursday night tilt with the Montreal Canadiens due to Canada’s strict COVID-19 protocols, but he kept a close eye on the action from home. And in that game, he saw Herndon, V.a. native Joe Snively put on a show while taking Ovechkin’s place at one of Ovi’s favorite venues: Bell Centre.
Snively, a Little Caps alum and Ovechkin fan growing up, skated in No. 8’s place alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson.
He had a milestone outing with his first NHL goal early in the game before adding another goal (that was somewhat reminiscent of an Ovechkin strike) and an unselfish assist later for a three-point performance in a key 5-2 victory. Snively earned First Star honors and also became the third Virginia-born player in NHL history to score a goal.
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The Great 8 had nothing but good things to say about the 26-year-old, who filled a major void and helped Washington take a step in the right direction amid numerous inconsistencies and a recent rough stretch.
“They did a very good job in Montreal,” Ovechkin said. “Happy for Joe. Like, he make it big game. Most important thing, it doesn’t matter how. You just have to get two points.”
Nothin' like scoring your first NHL goal 🤩
Congrats, Joe Snively! pic.twitter.com/inIFUyC4oN
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 11, 2022
Through six career NHL games so far, Snively has two goals and three assists. His performance has earned him top-6 moments and an extended stay at the NHL level, as Aliaksei Protas ended up heading back down to Hershey on Friday with Ovechkin returning to the mix.
“It’s an amazing opportunity… it’s a privilege and I’m just trying to make the most of it,” Snively said of his NHL tenure so far with his childhood team. “I’m just having a lot of fun.”