|Battered Alex Ovechkin scores 4 goals, adds assist in Capitals' 5-4 OT win over Canadiens|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 01 February 2008 03:40|
The battered Ovechkin, who also sported a cut below his eye from a high stick two nights earlier, scored his fourth goal of the night with 1:26 left in overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 5-4 Canadiens on Thursday night.
Ovechkin tied career highs with four goals and five points. He also did it on Dec. 29, at Ottawa. He leads the NHL with 43 goals and 70 points. It's the first time he's been the league leader in scoring.
``Today was a special day,'' Ovechkin said with a smile. ``I broke my nose, have stitches (and) score four goals. Everything (went) to my face.''
He broke his nose when he was sent hard into the boards by Montreal defenseman Francis Bouillon. He got hit in the mouth with a puck and needed stitches.
``We scored five, and he was in on all five,'' Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. ``So, how can you say enough about him? He's an amazing person.''
In other NHL games on Thursday night, it was: Carolina 3, Toronto 2, OT; Los Angeles 3, the New York Islanders 1; the New York Rangers 4, Philadelphia 0; Boston 4, Ottawa 1; Tampa Bay 4, Vancouver 3; and Nashville 4, Columbus 2.
Ovechkin was one of several Capitals aggressive on the ice from start to finish as Washington was apparently angered by how the Canadiens tried to score in the final minute of Tuesday's game in Montreal despite having a four-goal lead.
Washington took the game's first seven shots, and the Caps were all over the ice and created a number of scoring chances, finishing with a 38-21 edge in shots.
But even though Viktor Kozlov had one goal and two assists, and Mike Green added two assists, the Washington offense revolved around Ovechkin.
``The way Ovie scored the goals today, he's pretty amazing,'' linemate Kozlov said. ``Alex's game is excellent, excellent. Hitting people, passing, scoring. I don't know what else forwards could do.''
The All-Star scored Washington's first, third, fourth and fifth goals. He also assisted on Kozlov's goal.
The Capitals couldn't hold a 3-0 second-period lead and a 4-2 edge in the third.
Sergei Kastitsyn scored for Montreal less than a minute after Washington's third goal, and Andrei Kastitsyn cut the lead to 3-2 with a power-play goal with less than one second remaining in the second period.
Ovechkin scored in the third period, but Montreal tallied twice, sending the game into overtime when Guillaume Latendresse poked home a loose puck past sprawled Washington goalie Olie Kolzig with 32.6 seconds left in regulation after the Canadiens pulled Huet for an extra attacker.
That was Latendresse's second goal of the third period. But it just set the stage for more Ovechkin highlights in overtime.
``In the third period, we came back again, but Ovechkin was too strong,'' Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said.
Hurricanes 3, Maple Leafs 2, OT
At Raleigh, N.C., Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour scored with 1:40 left in overtime to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 win over Toronto.
Scott Walker had a goal and an assist and Tim Gleason also scored for Carolina.
Toronto captain Mats Sundin scored with 11.4 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
Bruins 4, Senators 1
At Ottawa, Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic and Marc Savard scored early in the first period to help Boston win its third straight and snap the Senators' two-game winning streak.
Chuck Kobasew scored into an empty net with 23 seconds remaining for the Bruins.
Antoine Vermette scored for Ottawa.
Kings 3, Islanders 1
At Uniondale, N.Y., Rob Blake scored a rare power-play goal for Los Angeles in the third period, and Jason LaBarbera made 28 saves to lift the suddenly surging Kings over slumping New York.
Matt Moulson also scored for the Kings, who still have an NHL-low 45 points. Alexander Frolov sealed it with an empty-netter with 41 seconds left.
Bryan Berard scored for the Islanders, who lost their sixth straight at home (0-4-2).
Rangers 4, Flyers 0
At Philadelphia, Steve Valiquette made 20 saves in his first career shutout to help the Rangers beat the Flyers, New York's first road win in more than a month.
Nigel Dawes, Petr Prucha, Chris Drury and Brendan Shanahan scored for the Rangers, squashing the momentum of a Flyers team that was on a 12-2-1 streak.
Lightning 4, Canucks 3
At Tampa, Fla., Brad Richards had a goal and two assists, leading Tampa Bay past Vancouver.
Tampa Bay also got goals from Vinny Prospal, Chris Gratton and Vincent Lecavalier. Martin St. Louis had three assists.
Alexander Edler, Luc Bourdon and Taylor Pyatt scored for Vancouver, which has lost eight of 10.
Predators 4, Blue Jackets 2
At Nashville, Tenn., J.P. Dumont extended the longest current points streak in the NHL to 16 games with two assists and Nashville beat Columbus.
Alexander Radulov, Jason Arnott, Vernon Fiddler and Scott Nichol scored goals for the Predators.
Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche scored for the Blue Jackets.