Canadiens
Capitals
4 - 5 Final - OT
  for this game

Ovechkin's four goals lead Capitals past Canadiens

Feb 1, 2008 - 5:58 AM
By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Alex Ovechkin wasn't about to go three games without scoring a goal.

Ovechkin completed his second four-goal game of the season at 3:34 of overtime as the Washington Capitals posted a 5-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Viktor Kozlov scored one goal and set up two others for the Capitals, who have won a season-high five straight at home.

Guillaume Latendresse scored twice, brothers Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn netted second-period goals and Cristobal Huet made 33 saves for the Canadiens, who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.

"Big point for the team on the road," Andrei Kostitsyn said. "We take the point, but we lost."

The Canadiens can thank Ovechkin for that.

The 22-year-old, who has gone consecutive games without a tally three times this season, has yet to be held without a goal for three straight contests.

Ovechkin, who also collected four goals and an assist against Ottawa on December 29, took over the NHL scoring lead on Thursday by completing his explosive night in the extra session.

The 2006 Calder Trophy winner took a quick pass from defenseman Jeff Schultz in front of the net before beating Huet for his league-leading 43rd goal of the season.

The tally helped the Capitals avenge a 4-0 loss to the Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Tuesday.

"That's my 31st game at this level, so it would rank as good as any that I've seen," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "The fourth goal in Ottawa was empty net, so this one has to be better. And in the four goals in Ottawa, we scored eight. (Tonight) we scored five and he was in on all five, so how can you say enough about him?"

The night belonged to Ovechkin, who made several dazzling plays. His third goal came on a rocket shot that sailed between the legs of defenseman Mark Streit and over the glove of Huet.

"It was tough shot for a goalie because he doesn't see the puck because it goes through between (Streit's) legs," said Ovechkin, who has 70 points. "It has to be hard shot, so I think the shot was hard."

"What great timing," Boudreau added. "But quite frankly, to me, the best play he made all night was the assist. I thought it was a one-timer, and to stop and have the presence of mind in mid-swing to stop and throw that to (Kozlov) is pretty good. It's an unbelievable play."

Washington needed the spectacular performance by Ovechkin after surrendering a 3-0 lead.

After Ovechkin's third goal with 7 1/2 minutes left in the third gave the Capitals a 4-2 lead and the All-Star his fourth career hat trick, the Canadiens knotted the game on a pair of goals by Latendresse.

"Exactly what was going through my mind was, we've been up 3-0 four times and they've come back to tie it, but we've won every game," Boudreau said. "That's the first thing I thought of, so I said we're OK."

Latendresse, who halved Montreal's deficit with 6:13 remaining, netted the tying tally with 32.6 seconds to go. Washington netminder Olaf Kolzig failed to completely cover the puck while laying on his stomach in the crease, allowing Latendresse to poke it past him.

"That last one, boy, it was close," Boudreau said. "In a lot of situations, (it's a ) 50-50 chance that whistle should have blown. It wasn't covered for long, but it was covered, I thought, where it would have been difficult for them to see it. But some refs would have called it, some refs wouldn't of.

"Somebody should have went and taken out Latendresse rather than standing around and watching the puck."

Ovechkin scored a 4-on-4 goal on a slap shot from the left faceoff circle at 13:06 of the first period to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead, appearing unfazed by Alexei Kovalev's high-sticking penalty just 55 seconds into the game.

"He took almost a slap-shot pass and it was a one-timer that, quite frankly, wasn't even in his wheel house," Boudreau said. "He had to move a little bit for it. He amazes me every day. I hope he continues."

After assisting on Kozlov's goal that gave Washington a 2-0 lead at 4:35 of the second, Ovechkin scored his 41st of the season at 11:54.

With the four tallies, Ovechkin reached the 40-goal plateau for the third straight campaign, matching Peter Bondra (1995-98) for the most consecutive 40-goal seasons in franchise history. Ovechkin accomplished the feat during his first three seasons in the league.

It also was a painful night for Ovechkin, who took a stick in the face and had his nose broken when Montreal defenseman Francis Bouillon hammered him into the boards. The Russian superstar also received stitches inside his lower lip after deflecting a puck with his hand.

"Yeah, everything (went) to my face," Ovechkin said with a grin. "It's (the) fifth time I broke my nose, so it's OK. I get used to it.

"But today was a special day - I broke my nose, I have stitches, I score four goals and have assist."

Boudreau never ceases to be amazed by Ovechkin.

"Don't get him angry," Boudreau said. "It's like a lot of players, they play better. Coaches have always said when I played and through time, 'Get a hit early and get into the game.' And he takes that to the 'nth degree. He loves the challenges. You could see him going at (defenseman Mike) Komisarek more than Komisarek was going at him. That's a big boy, and when you play as much as Alex does, it doesn't seem to tire him.

"He's an amazing person, an amazing person. Obviously, we've got to find somebody else that's going to score to help him out. I think if you look at the last four games we've played, he's been in on every goal we've scored, almost."

Despite the personal accomplishments, Ovechkin simply wants to help the Capitals climb in the standings.

"I just want to help team to win," he said. "That's it. If I score goals and we win, I'm happy, so today was a big game for us. I think everybody (is) happy. I think everybody has to understand we have to win every game. It doesn't matter how, we just have to win the game. We don't want to give up."

Washington finished January with nine victories (9-4-0), its most in a month since going 9-5-1 in March 2002.

Kolzig stopped 17 shots for the Capitals, who completed their third and final home-and-home series of the season - all against Canadian teams.

"I thought he played really good, and it's unfair that he's got four goals against him," Boudreau said. "Two of them were backdoor open nets that he couldn't do nothing about."






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    Canadiens vs. CapitalsJan 31 11:53 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 2 2 0 4
    WASHINGTON 1 2 1 1 5 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 40 (MILAN JURCINA) 13:06
    2ND PRD: WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 10 (ALEX OVECHKIN, TOM POTI) 4:35
    WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 41 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    11:54


    Jan 31 9:43 PM


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    MONTREAL 4
    WASHINGTON 5
    OT: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 43 (MIKE GREEN, JEFF SCHULTZ) 3:34

    Jan 31 9:39 PM


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    MONTREAL 4
    WASHINGTON 5
    OT: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 43 (MIKE GREEN, JEFF SCHULTZ) 3:34

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsJan 31 9:39 PM
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    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 2 2 4
    WASHINGTON 1 2 1 4 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 40 (MILAN JURCINA) 13:06
    2ND PRD: WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 10 (ALEX OVECHKIN, TOM POTI) 4:35
    WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 41 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    11:54
    MON - SERGEI KOSTITSYN 5 (GUI

    Jan 31 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    WASHINGTON 4
    3RD PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 14 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, MARK STREIT)
    19:27

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsJan 31 9:35 PM
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    MONTREAL 3
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    3RD PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 13 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, MIKE
    KOMISAREK) 13:47

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsJan 31 9:25 PM


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    MONTREAL 2
    WASHINGTON 4
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 42 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, MIKE GREEN) 12:30

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsJan 31 9:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 2 2
    WASHINGTON 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 40 (MILAN JURCINA) 13:06
    2ND PRD: WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 10 (ALEX OVECHKIN, TOM POTI) 4:35
    WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 41 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    11:54
    MON - SERGEI KOSTITSYN 5 (GUILL

    Jan 31 8:41 PM


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    MONTREAL 2
    WASHINGTON 3
    2ND PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 15 (UNASSISTED) 19:59

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsJan 31 8:40 PM


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    MONTREAL 1
    WASHINGTON 3
    2ND PRD: MON - SERGEI KOSTITSYN 5 (GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE, MAXIM
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    Canadiens vs. CapitalsJan 31 8:30 PM


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    MONTREAL 0
    WASHINGTON 3
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 41 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    11:54

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsJan 31 8:29 PM


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    MONTREAL 0
    WASHINGTON 2
    2ND PRD: WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 10 (ALEX OVECHKIN, TOM POTI) 4:35

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsJan 31 8:12 PM


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    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 0
    WASHINGTON 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 40 (MILAN JURCINA) 13:06
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 7 7
    WAS 12 12
    GOALIES: MON - CRISTOBAL HUET
    WAS - OLAF KO

    Jan 31 7:46 PM


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    MONTREAL 0
    WASHINGTON 1
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 40 (MILAN JURCINA) 13:06

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsJan 31 7:37 PM
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