Ovechkin becomes 3rd in NHL history with at least 20 goals in 19 straight seasons; Caps beat Flames

Tue, Mar 19, 2024
NHL News (AP)

Ovechkin becomes 3rd in NHL history with at least 20 goals in 19 straight seasons; Caps beat Flames

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Alex Ovechkin scored twice and became the third player in NHL history to have at least 20 goals in 19 consecutive seasons as the Washington Capitals beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 on Monday night.

The 38-year-old Ovechkin had two power-play goals in the second period as Washington won its third straight game. He joined Gordie Howe (22) and Brendan Shanahan (19) as the only players to achieve the goal-scoring feat.

Dylan Strome, Hendrix Lapierre and Tom Wilson also scored for Washington (33-25-9), which moved into the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of idle Detroit. It's the first time the Capitals have occupied a playoff spot since Jan. 2.

Kevin Rooney and MacKenzie Weegar scored for Calgary (33-30-5). The Flames finished 2-2-0 in a four-game homestand.

Washington goalie Charlie Lindgren had 34 saves and improved to 18-11-5. He has won five of his last six games with a .956 save percentage.

Calgary rookie Dustin Wolf allowed four goals on 32 shots in his third straight start and saw his record dip to 3-4-1. Wolf had allowed three goals on 67 shots in winning his last two games.

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Ovechkin's 20th goal of the season made it 2-0 at 5:58 of the second period. Ovechkin went to the net where he neatly deflected a hard centring pass from Max Pacioretty into the top corner. After pumping his arms in celebration, Ovechkin immediately looked over at Pacioretty and pointed, acknowledging the terrific pass.

Just over three minutes later, Washington's power play struck again. Ovechkin set up at the top of the faceoff circle, stick cocked. When John Carlson slid a pass across, Ovechkin leaned into a slap shot that beat Wolf inside the near post.

Ovechkin has 12 goals in 20 games since the All-Star break after scoring just nine times in 44 games before that. He raised his career goal total to 843, second to - and 51 behind - Wayne Gretzky.

The Capitals have been helped in their playoff chase by a rejuvenated power play. On Jan. 18, Washington had the league's third-worst power play at 13.3%. Over the last two months, including going 2 for 3 against Calgary, the Capitals have the league's third-best power play at 29.1%.

Calgary briefly got back to within two goals at 10:41 of the second period on Rooney's second goal of the season and first in 17 games.

But Lapierre' scored four minutes later and restored the three-goal cushion at 4-1.

Weegar's 16th of the season at 7:12 of the third - third best among NHL defensemen - got Calgary within two again, but that's as close as the Flames could get.

Jacob Markstrom (lower body) is back skating and coach Ryan Huska said he could return to action as soon as this weekend. The veteran Flames goaltender has missed the last five games.

UP NEXT

Capitals: Host Toronto on Wednesday to open a four-game homestand.

Flames: At Vancouver on Saturday.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL

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