for this game

Ovechkin, Clark rally Capitals to wild victory over Senators

Nov 7, 2006 - 3:00 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- When it comes to Alexander Ovechkin, the shorter his name, the better his game.

Ovechkin scored twice, including the equalizer with 25 seconds left in regulation, and Chris Clark tallied in overtime as the Washington Capitals recovered from an early three-goal deficit for a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

Washington announced prior to the game that Ovechkin would like to be known as Alex in the future. The way the Russian superstar has played this season, the Capitals would be wise to accommodate all of his wishes.

"Alex or Alexander? It doesn't matter for me," Ovechkin joked. "Call me Ovie. That's better."

Ovechkin drew Washington within 3-2 with a wicked wrister from above the left faceoff circle midway through the second period. He tied it in the final minute of the third period with a wrist shot from a sharp angle, just below the left circle.

The reigning Calder Trophy winner, Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 10 goals on the season. He has scored twice in each of the last two outings and has points in 11 of 14 games on the year.

"We wouldn't trade him for anyone in the world," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "He just seems to come through. For a determined guy, he seems to be even more determined when it gets down to the nitty-gritty."

Ovechkin's late heroics set the stage for Clark, who tallied his fifth of the season 1:33 into the extra session. The team captain skated in front of the net and deflected a shot by Alexander Semin past goaltender Martin Gerber for the game-winner.

"Those are the fun ones to be in," Hanlon said. "When you come back and score in the last minute ... and to be able to score in overtime, it does a lot for your hockey club. Those are big wins for us."

After Capitals netminder Olaf Kolzig allowed three goals on the first five shots he faced, Brent Johnson took over midway through the first period and turned aside all 21 shots that came his way.

"You don't even know how happy I am right now," Johnson said.

Johnson has allowed just 11 goals on 165 shots this season, while Kolzig has surrendered eight tallies on 39 shots in the last two games alone.

Semin set up each of the last three goals and Matt Pettinger also scored for Washington, which had not won in its previous eight meetings with Ottawa.

"The first period was terrible for us. I don't know what happened," Ovechkin said. "We were just asleep and they moved faster than us. ... The second period and third period, we played very well. We played hard like half the game. ... It's a very big win for us and right now our team is going up."

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson opened the barrage just 91 seconds into the contest and set up Antoine Vermette at 10:25 to make it 2-0. Dany Heatley tallied less than two minutes later on only Ottawa's fifth shot of the game, chasing Kolzig after just 11:51.

"We just felt like there was no panic, no feeling that this game was out of control," Hanlon said. "We all felt to a man that we were going to come back and win."

Gerber, who slammed his stick across the crossbar after letting in the game-winner, finished with 22 saves. Defenseman Andrej Meszaros had two assists for the Senators, who have lost four straight games.

"We get the early goal and looked like we were playing well," Senators coach Brian Murray said. "But from then on, we were tight. ... We're getting beaten up a little bit in our own end."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!