Ovechkin's 2nd goal leads Capitals past Hurricanes 5-4 in OT

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    Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby deflects a shot during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Washington Capitals felt they gave away two goals. Alex Ovechkin got them right back when it mattered most.

    Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 26th goal 1:57 into overtime and the Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on Tuesday night for their third straight win.

    "It's almost like whenever he decides to end it, he can just go do it," linemate Devante Smith-Pelly said.

    Ovechkin also tied it with 7:15 left in regulation, with Nicklas Backstrom assisting on both goals. Alex Chiasson, Smith-Pelly and Dmitry Orlov each scored for the Capitals, who went to overtime for the sixth time in eight games and have won four of those.

    Teuvo Teravainen and Elias Lindholm scored in the third period, and Victor Rask had two goals for the Hurricanes, who trailed by two midway through the second. They rallied to take a short-lived lead midway through the third before Ovechkin struck twice to snap their six-game home winning streak.

    After Sebastian Aho hit the post in OT for Carolina, Ovechkin headed the other way and fired a shot from the right circle that beat Cam Ward to end it.

    "If we're sitting here and (Aho's shot) goes in, it's a whole different situation," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "But it didn't, and then Ovie made a good play, and that's what he does, right?"

    Ovechkin tied it at 4 by beating Ward with a slick backhand.

    Ward made 21 saves for the Hurricanes, who turned a one-goal deficit into a lead in bang-bang fashion.

    Lindholm tied it with 14:20 left on a snap shot from between the circles. Aho's forecheck started the sequence that ended with a shot by Teravainen that caromed off the back boards, off the stick of Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik and into the net with 12:53 remaining.

    The game's first goal came after Washington defenseman John Carlson gave the puck away in front of goalie Braden Holtby, and Rask cashed in.

    "I think the response was there," Ovechkin said. "I think everybody kind of took it to the next level in their game. (The thinking was) we don't deserve to lose the points. At least if we lose in overtime or the shootout, it's one thing, but we were leading the whole game and it was kind of a lucky bounce off Brooks' stick. It was a good response, and we finished it up in overtime."

    Holtby stopped 34 shots for the Capitals, who turned their early self-inflicted deficit into a two-goal lead midway through the second.

    Chiasson tied it 78 seconds after Rask's goal, off a slick backdoor feed from Chandler Stephenson. Smith-Pelly put Washington up 2-1 with 7:07 left in the first on a snap shot from the circle that beat Ward stick side.

    Orlov made it 3-1 with 11:12 left in the second when he chased down his rebound and poked it past Ward.

    NOTES: Carolina C Lucas Wallmark went to the dressing room with an injury midway through the third. Peters said he didn't have an update. ... Washington D Matt Niskanen (upper body injury) didn't make the trip. ... This was the first of three meetings between the teams during an 11-day span. The division rivals play only once more after that, on March 30 in Washington.


    Capitals: Host the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.

    Hurricanes: Begin a four-game road trip Thursday night at Pittsburgh.


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