Capitals 2, Bruins 1, OT
BOSTON (AP)—Alex Ovechkin didn’t mind being the joke of the party.
After reaching the plateau, he was awarded with a shaving cream pie to the face in the Capitals locker room—courtesy of team captain Jeff Halpern.
“I didn’t score for four, five games and everybody is talking about it,” Ovechkin said. “Coach (Glen Hanlon) came to me after the second period and said, ‘Don’t think about it, just go out and enjoy your time.”’
Ovechkin’s goal snapped a six-game drought, that matched the longest of his first season, and gave him 49. The 20-year-old left winger has four games left to score again and join Teemu Selanne as the only NHL rookies to post 50 goals and 100 points in a debut season.
“I tried not to think about it,” Ovechkin said. “I’m happy right now. We won the game and I got the winning goal.”
Ovechkin broke in on the right wing and fired a wrist shot that sailed in over Tim Thomas’ glove. Selanne and Joe Juneau were the last rookies to score 100 points when they both did it in the 1992-93 season.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Hanlon said. “You don’t see it, but we’re a 64-point team that’s had a lot of fun.”
Washington, ahead of only Pittsburgh at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, broke a four-game losing streak. Dainius Zubrus scored the other goal for the Capitals.
Mark Stuart had his first career NHL goal for the Bruins, who tied it in the third period.
Olaf Kolzig made 37 saves for the Capitals. Thomas stopped 25 shots.
“He was good,” Boston coach Mike Sullivan said of Kolzig. “He was probably the difference. Once again, I thought we played hard. We created a lot of opportunities on our power play. Once again, it’s tough when you only score one goal.”
The Capitals have allowed the second-most goals in the NHL this season behind only Pittsburgh, but Kolzig shut down the Bruins until Stuart tied it with a wrist shot from the slot that caromed in off the right post with 9:39 left in regulation.
After a scoreless opening period, the Capitals took a 1-0 lead on Zubrus’ unassisted goal 15:46 into the second period. After he took an errant clearing pass in the neutral zone, Zubrus split a pair of defenseman at the blue line, broke in and fired a wrist shot inside the left post from the edge of the right circle for his 22nd goal of the season.
The Bruins had the best two scoring chances in the opening period when Brad Boyes hit the crossbar and was stopped from in close by Kolzig seconds later. Patrice Bergeron set up Boyes with a backhand pass while sitting on the ice.
There was an entertaining stretch when the Bruins were on a power play early in the second period. Kolzig lost his stick as the Bruins controlled the puck in the zone and fired three or four shots wide. At one point, Kolzig was handed a stick by one of his defenseman before the Capitals cleared the puck.
Ovechkin gained at least a point for the 12th time in 13 games, only being blanked in a 5-0 loss against the New York Islanders on Saturday. … Selanne had 76 goals and 132 points for Winnipeg in his rookie season. … Washington entered the game with the league’s worst penalty-killing unit. … It was the Capitals’ first win over Boston after losing the first three games in this season’s series. … The Bruins, who along with the Capitals were eliminated from the postseason chase, will play their final home game Thursday against Montreal. … Washington’s Matt Bradley sustained a lower body injury and didn’t play most of the third period.